Billy Budd - Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 4 Summary

The narrator now apologizes for taking a bypath. He compares the changes in sea warfare since the date mentioned in Chapter 3 to the changes in battle brought about by the introduction of gunpowder into Europe. Thus, in the current age, the nobler qualities of the naval heroes have become obsolete. For example, a star has been inserted in the Victory's quarterdeck to mark the spot where Nelson fell.

Some would say that Nelson's ostentatious focus on himself in battle not only was unnecessary but not military-that it was the mark of foolhardiness and vanity. Some would even say that he might have survived Trafalgar but for his bravado, and the many losses in the storm that followed the battle might have been avoided. In Nelson's defense, few commanders were as capable at strategy; reckless or not; he was successful where others who were more prudent were not...

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This section contains 285 words
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Buy the Billy Budd Study Guide
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Billy Budd from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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