Billy Budd Essay

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In the following essay, Goldstein delves into the legal profession's view of Billy Budd.

It is a story of innocence and evil, of crime and punishment, of rationality and insanity, of motives tainted and pure, [n short, material that lawyers thrive on, and since it was published posthumously in 1924. Billy Budd, Sailor has gripped the collective imagination of the bar.

Lately, a cottage industry has grown up in legal circles on the interpretation of Herman Melville's novella. It is taught in courses in jurisprudence, and books and law journal articles delve into whether Billy Budd. the protagonist, was unjustly executed and whether the man who sent him to his death, Captain Starry Vere. was a jurisprudential hero or villain.

Last fall a two-day colloquium on the law and Billy Budd was held at the Washington and Lee School of Law in Lexington. Va. And last week 150 lawyers listened...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 591 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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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