Thursday, January 23, 2020
Free Billy Budd Essays: Billy Budd as Christ :: Billy Budd Essays
Billy Budd as Christ In this novel, Billy Budd, Melville acts as a "Creator", in that he gives Billy Budd certain superhuman qualities, which allows him to posses the traits of a servant of God. Billy Budd appears Christ-like, because of his peace-making abilities. Although, he is a peacemaker whom will fight for what he believes in and to keep peace. In the beginning of the novel, when Red Whiskers gives Billy Budd problems, he strikes him with a powerful blow and does not have any more problems with him or the crew again. Melville then foreshadows how Billy will use the same tactics the next time he runs into a bully like Red Whiskers. It seems ironic of the names of the ships as we go along in the story. Billy Budd goes from the Rights-of-Man to Bellipotent, it seems then he makes a change like a minister being ordained to a Bishop. Bellipotent signifies a good ship, in that belli- means kind, and -potent means strong and powerful. Melville seems to want his audience to think of the ships as Christ-like symbols also. As in another story, Young Goodman Brown by Hawthorne, a young man is too eager to meet his destiny. Billy Budd is not at the least hesitant, when Lieutenant Ratcliffe wants him for service to King George Ill. Billy Budd goes from a peaceful merchant ship, to a ship at war, full of guns and military discipline. Me lville is suggesting here that Billy will most like endure many problems and hardships entering this service. Billy Budd acts as the foretopman on this ship, which leads the audience to wonder is he doing it out of the grace of God, to make a change on the ship, or is he toying with fate. At the time this novel took place, wars were going on, which was later called the Great Mutiny (a time when sailors rebelled against their own). That explains most of the story Melville is attempting to display. Melville introduces Captain Vere as a dedicated officer who only permits obedience to duty and is very strict with discipline. The author has already foreshadowed many things for the audience. He lets us see how Billy is bound to run into a confrontation with at least one shipmate, and may possibly be accused of mutiny, since the thoughts are already on many officers' minds.