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. What happens to Captain Vere after he is wounded?

2. Why doesn't the surgeon question the captain's orders?

3. Why does the crew assemble together in chapter 25?

4. Who witnesses Billy's funeral?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Melville explain the trusting nature of most sailors?

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

3. Why does Billy refuse to believe that Claggart is orchestrating the events that are plaguing him?

4. What is ironic about Billy's impending trial?

5. What accusation does Claggart bring against Billy?

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

7. How does Billy react to Claggart's accusation?

8. What is the significance of Captain Vere's last words?

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

10. Describe Billy's funeral.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Melville's theory of moral depravity. How does innate moral depravity compare to moral depravity caused by licentious (sexually immoral) living? What evidence does Melville give to prove that Claggart is suffering from a form of insanity that manifests itself as innate moral depravity?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the difference between reporting illicit activities and tattling. Which factors prevent Billy from reporting the afterguardsman to the captain? What effect does not reporting the incident have on Billy's character? How might the outcome of the novel be different if Billy had chosen to report the afterguardsman to his superiors?

Essay Topic 3

According to Melville, why are sailors more trusting than men who live on land? How does age and training relate to the trust Melville claims sailors exhibit? Why does Billy have a greater sense of trust than Claggart since both are sailors?

(see the answer keys)

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