Premium Essay

Who Is Responsible for Billy Budd's Death?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ricky80
Words 902
Pages 4
Who is responsible for killing Billy Budd? Is it Claggart, Captain Vere, or Billy Bubb himself? There are many people who will argue all three men are responsible for killing Billy Budd. Their argument is Claggart, also known as Jemmy Leggs, provoked Billy in to striking him, attacking an officer is a serious offense. Captain Vere witnessed Claggart pushing Billy’s buttons by yelling at him, accusing him of mutiny, and saw the frustration in Billy’s face, but did not pull rank and order both men to stand down. However Billy is responsible for his own actions and should never had let anyone control his emotions. Billy Budd is a simple man who has a stuttering problem and also he cannot read. Billy did not let that stop him from helping other sailors on board the ship. Billy was also naïve he only saw the good in people and didn’t believe his fellow sailors when they informed him that Claggart has it in for him. Dansker, a sailor stationed with Billy, stated to Billy “Jemmy Leggs is down on you” but, Billy ignored the warning. Billy didn’t believe him because Claggart always spoke to him in a sweet voice. Claggart is the ship’s Master of Arms; he is responsible for keeping the ship operating in an orderly fashion. He does this by ordering the flogging of sailors. A sailor could get flogged for any minor offence. The day Billy Budd checked on board the ship he witnessed a sailor getting flogged. When Billy asked why he was getting flogged a sailor informed him no one knows why anything could get you flogged. The ship’s crew knew Billy would never try to start munity, Claggart just wanted to hurt him. Billy finally saw what Dansker was talking about when Claggart was yelling at him in the cabin in front of Captain Vere. Billy was provoked into hitting Claggart in the forehead killing him on the spot. Even though Billy was provoked striking and killing a...

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