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Captain Vere - Essay Example

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The parallelism between Billy Budd’s story and that of Jesus is evident, especially when it comes to the events that lead to Budd’s hanging. Because of this…
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Captain Vere
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"Captain Vere"

Download file to see previous pages although he felt that Budd’s crime is a result of Caggart’s provocation and false accusations, he placed Budd in trial and eventually chose to hang the man. This is quite similar to Pontius Pilate’s decision as to Jesus. Captain Vere believed too much that law can bring order, and that no one and nothing is above it. As he claimed that his “vowed responsibility” was to follow the law. Melville states about him: “however pitilessly that law may operate, (he) adhere(s) to it and administer(s) it” (124). He argues that even if “Budd neither purposed any mutiny or homicide,” Budd still committed an act against their laws and he needs to be punished as stated by the law, which was death (111).
In the light of Captain Vere’s decision, he made a good point. No one and nothing is above the law no matter how innocent the intentions of the accused might be. He justifies his decision by arguing that “Budd’s intent or non-intent is nothing to the purpose” (108). Captain Vere is clearly an intellectual person who doesn’t like peace to be shattered. Understanding his argument, you can clearly see that he wanted his crew to know that they cannot just strike death to a person without facing its consequences. The law is there to ensure that there will always be order on the ship. If Budd is exonerated, his crew will question the laws he broke. This will shatter the trust, confidence and order on the ship. And this will pose a bigger problem in managing the ship. Captain Vere only adhered to the law because he knew that not imposing the punishment will make his crew question his leadership. What he didn’t think about was how his crew would think about his morals.
Captain Vere may have been successful in keeping the ship in strict order. He may have been successful showing his crew that even innocent men, like Budd, he who commits an act against their laws will be punished. He may have shown his crew his tough shell, that no matter how he liked Budd ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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