Billy Budd An Analysis Of The Handsome Sailor And The Cost Of Naviety.

1475 words - 6 pages

Billy BuddByHerman MelvilleHerman Melville's, Billy Budd, is set during the 1700's a turbulent time in European History. Rumors of war raging between England and France draw our "handsome sailor," Billy Budd into a web of deceit. Drafted into service for the throne of England, Billy finds himself fighting in a battle of emotions not weapons. A unique specimen, Billy tends to draw the crewmen to him because of his wholesome goodness - emitting from within our foundling. A man without a home or a family, the sea becomes Billy's form of refuge, but every form of refuge has its price. Billy's integrity and veracity comprise the nucleus of his allure, they are also the characteristics leading to his demise. A youth in the prime of his life far to innocent to be combating the evils of the world, Billy will soon see that everything is not as it may first appear.Billy Budd is a gorgeous creature, said to be "welkin eyed." Implying an intense slate blue eye color and blonde hair. Our chiseled specimen has an ora of goodness and righteousness. This ora transcends itself to people who are around Billy. "The Rights of Man," is the first vessel at sea that our youthful adventurer embarks upon. Little is known about Billy Budd prior to this except that a good poor man found him in a silk lined basket in Bristol. This hints at an aristocratic birth but it is left to the readers' imagination. Maybe the lack of family ties threw our young knight to the shores of the sea - as we all know the sea has no restraints, something to which Billy has grown accustomed. Overflowing with charisma, Billy is unaware of his effect on others. His lack of self-consciousness makes him all the more admirable. Sailing during the 1700's in European waters was quite volatile and Billy, although illiterate, quickly learns the meaning of impressments. With Napoleon on the move, England is greatly in need of men for her naval fleet and military leaders are scouring the ocean for likely candidates. Captain Graveling is very distressed when he learns that Billy is to be taken from "The Rights of Man," and enlisted into service of British navel fleet. "The Rights of Man," is the first vessel on which Billy Budd sail's. Captain Graveling claims to Captain Ratcliffe, who has come to impress men into the service of England's naval fleet, "Billy is indispensable!" Captain Graveling cries are in vain as Billy Budd is quickly scoped out and chosen for service by Captain Ratcliffe.Most men forced into military service would be insolent and angered. Not Billy, he accepts his conscription with good cheer. Upon leaving he bids farewell to "The Rights of Man," there is staunch irony here as Billy is coincidently giving up his rights as a man and being forced to serve in the military. A consequence Billy never recognizes due to his gleeful and naïve outlook on life. Billy doesn't find the same attention on his new ship the H.M.S. Bellipotent. There are more crewmembers and many with attributes the...

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