Billy Budd Analysis

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Billy Budd is the story of the sailor Billy Budd and his time on the H.M.S Bellipotent during the last decade of the 18th century, after being impressed from the previous ship he was on “The Rights of Man”. He was seen as a “handsome sailor”, and was loved by his old crew. He was also innocent to a fault. This man could not see the bad or suspicious in someone at all. In the context of this novel, he was the purest good in this ship, which could also be seen as a microcosm of the world as it was. Billy as a whole is seen mainly as a man without fault. He could do no wrong in his world, because he is the personification of all that is good. This makes his one flaw, that being his stutter, the perfect aspect of his being to show us of the dangers of innocence. The fact that he cannot bring words out to defend himself against the malice tossed at him because his very being will not allow him to even comprehend that there are people in the world with such ill intent. Ill intent does not exist to him, and it ultimately proved to be his undoing. As if almost a flip of a coin, Claggart can be seen as the complete opposite than that of Billy. An ugly man, in both the figurative and literal sense, Claggart’s innate malice is without cause or limit. While Billy lacks the awareness of the differences of human actions and the intentions behind them, Claggart knows these differences all too well. He has a great understanding of deception and ambiguity that he uses to hide his real
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