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Mind Map of Billy Budd, Sailor
Billy Budd, Sailor
Billy Budd is a pure and innocent man impressed into service on an 18th-century British warship. Implicated in a conspiracy hatched by the ship's hateful and envious master-at-arms, John Claggart, Budd is hanged for murder. But he lives on as a venerated icon among British sailors.
Innocence & Malic
Claggart's malice leads him to falsely accuse Billy Budd of plotting mutiny.
Loyalty & Justice
Loyalty and duty undermine justice as Budd, the victim, is found guilty.
Law & Conscience
Captain Vere's duty is to uphold the law, even if his conscience bothers him.
Pure, innocent, Christlike figure; can't detect evil in others; liked by fellow sailors but hated by Claggart
Warship captain anxious to maintain order; tries to be fair but is compromised by his strict sense of duty
Evil master-at-arms in charge of enforcing rules; full of ill will and envy that lead him to destroy Budd
Symbolizes Budd's defenselessness and Christlike nature
Stands for the cross on which Christ was crucified
Represents the bigotry and pride present in Western civilization
HERMAN MELVILLE 1819-91
Melville spent many years at sea, working on merchant vessels or whaling ships. As in Billy Budd, Sailor, his maritime experiences often informed his writing. His major works are stories of adventure, but they also often deal with profound issues of the human experience.