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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
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On the other hand, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote Self Reliance to define his theories of self reliance within human nature and to illustrate how people need to rely on their inner thoughts to live as free and profitable human beings. A close look will be taken into the works of both Melville and Emerson to define how the characters within Billy Budd are personified by the writings of Emerson.
In the vessel Rights of Man, Billy is a moderator among his vessel affiliates. He is a leader, not through control, but by modelling. All the affiliates of the ship admire him and love him. Moreover, Billy possesses strength and splendour which might be symbolizing America at the epoch of the recording the narration.
Melville writes about the qualities of head and heart of Billy Budd, “… [t]here was nothing this honest soul at heart loved better than simple peace and quiet.”(4) Officers and other ranks like his pleasant disposition and he brings cheer to the hearts of the weathered sailors.
The novel story goes like this: Billy Budd, a gentle, sober, innocent and lovable sailor, serving the British merchant ship 'Rights-of-Man' is shifted to the warship 'H.M.S. Bellipotent' for war service. Billy agrees to shift to the warship out of his patriotism.
According to him, the crewmembers would support Billy in ensuring the success of the plot. Captain Vere becomes suspicious over Claggart’s accusation and thus summons Billy to his cabin. In the room, Captain
This is because victim’s societal status is very low compared to the person who is compelling him or her. Since, the latter had malicious intentions meant to torture him more despite all along subjecting him (Billy) to untold
During their journey, he gets impressed with various things hence the ability to change to prolong the stay. The natural Charisma and openness at seas makes him find favour with different people (Melville
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