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Billy Budd

Updated November 1, 2018

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Billy Budd essay

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War shapes all moral trajectories in this story in many ways.

War defines peace and tragedy due to the use and action of disagreement. In Billy Budd, (The movie), Billy ended up getting hung because he was accused of killing a member on the H.M.S. Indomitable. While these men were on the ship, they had certain rights that were stated under the Articles Of War. Each individual was punished under these statements.

Ratcliff states, Go find the captain and report to him the winds abeam. Respectfully suggest we ought to take in topsails. (Coxe and Chapman page 46). This quote relates to the suffering that these sailors have to deal with while they are out to sea at war.

They have to respect the captains orders at all times otherwise they will be punished. This kind of life that they are going through is kind of ridiculous because its so dull and boring. I would hate to be treated like that because it makes you fell miserable. ODaniel states, Ah, I do love to see two Englishmen fighting each other.

Its fonder they are of killing themselves than fighting their proper foes. (Laughs hoarsely) (Coxe and Chapman page 13) The meaning of this quote has to do with the presence of a fight. The main object of war is fighting. If ODaniel was a good man than he shouldnt even bring up this statement because he is heating up conflict. I think that he has some inner problems because he tends to be a little stubborn with others.

I think that this quote that Billy states is rather fascinating because it has a lot of meaning to it. Id rather be buried at sea than on the beach, when I come to die. Will you stand by the plank, Tom, So Ill shake a friendly hand before I sink? Oh! But its dead Ill be then, come to think! (All Laugh) (Coxe and Chapman page 29) Billy is telling the readers in this quote that he really doesnt care if he dies or not because he knows that he did the right thing. When he killed the man, he knew in his heart that he had to do what he had to do.

He would rather be buried at sea than at the beach because at least he knows that he would be dead somewhere where he feels that he did the right thing in his power. He is the type of person who doesnt care what others think of him. When he killed the man, he probably didnt feel sorry for him, because like War things happen the way that we intend to want them to. For example, if someone has a gun and they want to kill you, you have to do something in your power to defend yourself.

Thats exactly what Billy did, he Defended himself. If the Articles Of War made any sense, they shouldnt of killed Billy Budd because he was defending himself. The last quote that I chose from this play has a special meaning to the readers in a way because it emphasizes the characters feelings. When the Butler quotes Hes dead, aint he? Better off than us. (Coxe and Chapman page 27) He seems to be feeling a sense of hurt and anger. It must be tough for them to be on this ship twenty-four hours a day because they have to deal with the same people all day.

When Billy died, it was a tragedy for the whole crew, well maybe with an exception of Captain Vere. If it wasnt for war, I think that these men including Billy would have had a good time. I guess Im trying to say that WAR defines death. Most likely when you hear about a war that has occurred, chances are that somebody passed away (obviously).

The Butler has a sense of disappointment in his voice when he says that the dead are better off than he is. That implies that he hates the way that his life is headed. When a person compares the dead as being better than their own life that means that they are in a big sense of Grief. In Conclusion, I would like to say that this play has many Morals to it. You cant be accused as guilty for something that you did when you were only trying to save your own life.

I really looked up to Billy throughout the story because he had a lot of self-esteem in himself. He is the only character that would not listen to what anybody had to say he did things his own way. Most important of all, He didnt let War come in between his life while he was learning how to become a man, and I give him a lot of credit for that. We as humans have to realize that war can alsobe a good thing because it necessarily doesnt have to be a bad thing all the time. Without having war in the past, we wouldnt be where we are today and also, we wouldnt be at peace with other nations just like we are with them now.

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Billy Budd. (2018, Nov 09). Retrieved from