Billy Budd - Study Guide Chapter 21 Summary & Analysis

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Whether or not the captain has come unhinged is a matter of conjecture. The event could not have happened at a worse time, so soon after the suppressed insurrections, a time very critical to naval authority. The way things have turned out, the falsely accused victim has become the perpetrator, and the unfortunate captain must sort the whole thing out. He feels that avoiding publicity, given the tenor of the times, is absolutely essential. He also feels that quick action is necessary so the whole thing can be put behind them rather than letting it fester while they wait to get back to the fleet.

He is criticized for his choices. A drumhead court is convened, and the captain chooses the following to sit on it: the first lieutenant, the captain of marines, and the sailing master. Acknowledging that they are not an ideal jury, he nevertheless...

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This section contains 1,035 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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