Who is Starbuck from Moby Dick and what is their importance?

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Starbuck is the chief mate of the Pequod. He is both a native of Nantucket and a Quaker. Starbuck has a brooding intelligence to him. He is able to see through the tales that men weave as well as their emotional extremes. He is both courageous and cautious. Starbuck is reluctant to appease Ahab in his obsession against Moby Dick. Starbuck is a force of caution and reason.