Billy Budd Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which other characters has odd weather changes occur during his death?

2. In chapter 25, what does the crew cry in unison?

3. What penalty does the court consider for Billy in chapter 22?

4. What does Captain Vere tell the surgeon to call?

5. What happens to Captain Vere after he is wounded?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why doesn't Billy confront the afterguardsman or Claggart about any of the incidents that occurs?

2. How are the events that occur on the Bellipotent distorted on land?

3. Describe the drumhead court that convenes in chapter 21.

4. What misgivings do the surgeon and the other officers have about Billy's impending trial?

5. How does Melville compare the politics that surround Billy's case with Jesus' trial?

6. Why does Captain Vere insist that the drumhead court render judgment according to the Mutiny Act?

7. Why does Captain Vere feel it necessary to deliver the court's verdict to Billy personally?

8. What irony is evident in the nature of Captain Vere's death?

9. How does Claggart's expression begin to betray his feelings in chapter 17?

10. How does Captain Vere explain Billy's execution to the crew?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Provide a brief description of the following literary elements the novel: Introduction, rising action, climax, falling action and denouement (resolution). How does emotion affect the progression of each element?

Essay Topic 2

What role does the social community on board the Bellipotent play in the novel? How are the characters affected by the extended amount of time they spend living and working together in a relatively small area? How are conflicts resolved among crew members? How do unresolved conflicts affect the characters in the novel?

Essay Topic 3

What is a "cat's paw" and which characters represent this analogy? Why does Claggart choose to use a "cat's paw" instead of dealing with Billy himself? How does the use of the "cat's paw" backfire on Claggart?

(see the answer keys)

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