Billy Budd, Sailor, By Harrison Hayford And Merton M. Seaths

696 words - 3 pages

Can a man kill another man; yet, be a passive hero? In Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Seaths short story, “Billy Budd, Sailor (An inside Narrative)”, Billy Budd is characterized as a passive hero. Unexpectedly, Billy Budd is singled out and forced into the King’s service. Even so, Billy Budd has a positive influence with nearly all of his ship mates and officers. However, Billy’s affect with the new master-at-arms proves Billy does not have a positive effect on everyone. Ultimately, Billy Budd’s lack of adult experience becomes his downfall; because Billy is unable to comprehend somebody would aim to impair his persona.
Billy Budd is characterized to be a static hero by his previous ship Captain Graveling, upon being transferred to a ship called Billipotent. Therefore, the Caption Graveling complains to Billy Budd’s new Lieutenant, Radcliffe, “But Billy came; and it was like a Catholic priest striking peace in an Irish shindy. Not that he preached to them or said or did anything in particular; but a virtue went out of him, sugaring the sour ones (Hayford and Sealts 933).” Nevertheless, Billy takes his new position with the new Captain Vere under the instructions of the master-in-arms, John Claggart. Eventually, accused of mutiny by Claggart, Billy kills the mater-in-arms. Hence, Billy is hung, as his ship mates and officers look on. Afterward, when the ship is overthrown and Captain Vere is fatally wounded, Billy’s ship mates remember him as a passive hero. Additionally, the ship mates keep track of the spar Billy was hung on; because, “To them a chip of it was a peace of the Cross (985).” Throughout the story, Billy Budd is exposed a positive influence on his ship mates and a passive hero.
Although, Billy is forced into service on the Billipotent, he has respectable dealings with most ship mates and officers. Consequently, three officers in charge of the trial decision of Billy’s accused wrong doing to Claggart are surprised. Also, Caption Vere whom enjoys Billy nature is troubled by what must happen; since, Billy has killed Claggart unintentionally. ...

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