Billy Budd Objects/Places
Handsome sailor: Term used by Melville for a sailor of Billy’s type. The Handsome sailor is not only good looking, but he is articulate and talented. He can hunt and fish and hold his own in a fight. He is a leader of his companions. This type of sailor began to disappear with the advent of the steamship.
Nore Mutiny: A mutiny where the sailors, inspired by the French Revolution, overthrew their officers and tried to make negotiations for better treatment. This resulted in new recruits and the marines being called up. The mutiny was put down, but it left a lasting scar on officers and sailors alike.
Master-at-Arms: The position on the Bellipotent held by John Claggart. This position used to be held by an officer who would instruct men in the use of swords. With the advent of firearms, however, it became more a mission of policing the sailors.
Mutiny: When a crew rebels against their captain and takes control of the ship. The fear is omnipresent for the officers in this story. Mutinies have happened twice in the British navy right before the time of this story.