Chapter 27 & 28 Notes from Billy Budd

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Billy Budd Chapter 27 & 28

There was silence at the execution, except for the waves and the gulls. The boatswain whistled for the men to go. Billy's hammock had been weighted with shot and his body was thrown into the sea. When his body was dropped, some men though they heard a human sound come before the splash. The officers became ill at ease. Captain Vere referred to this: "With mankind,...forms, measured forms, are everything; and that is the import couched in the story of Orpheus with his lyre spellbinding the wild denizens of the wood." Chapter 27, pg. 501.

The day goes normally after the drums and religious service, but in an odd sort of half-reality. A silence overtakes the ship. Men go about their work but do not talk to each other. The officers remain distant.

Chapter 28

The story does not end with Billy Budd's death. The ships in the French fleet are renamed by the revolutionaries to signify that everything from the old regime has been overthrown. Traditional names are changed to more 'intellectual' ones like "The Atheist". The Bellipotent meets the Athee (Atheist) and Captain Vere is wounded in combat. He is taken to a hospital after his first lieutenant wins the battle. He dies on shore, speaking of Billy Budd. No one understands him.

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