Billy Budd Morals

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Billy Budd, Sailor The novel Billy Budd, Sailor, leaves you with many mixed emotions by the time it is finished. When the beloved Billy kills a man, the captain of the ship is faced with a hard decision as to how to punish him. With the fact that Billy committed murder, Captain Vere had no choice but sentence him to death. Even though it is evident that Vere favors Billy over the other sailors, he needed to maintain the law to keep the ship and crew in order, or by the rules of being a captain he would have had to resign. In the novel, Billy represents innocence and Claggart represents evil. Claggart has a secret malice inside of him that is fed up with Billy's "goodness" and is determined to find a way to get his revenge. He accuses Billy of mutiny to the captain and Billy is called in to defend himself. When Claggart repeats his accusation to Billy, the handsome sailor is shocked and unable to speak. Billy suddenly hits Claggart as a way to express his anger and Claggart falls down dead. Captain Vere faces a hard decision as to whether or not to sentence Billy to death. Even though it was an accident, even an accidental murder was still a murder. It is evident that Vere admires Billy and always sees a great future for the young man. This sudden death…show more content…
The captain calls together a council to determine whether or not this law applies to Billy. They examine every angle of the incident and find that maybe Billy wasn't at fault due to his previous record of innocence. Being the captain of the ship Vere has to argue continuously that Billy committed murder and that the laws of that time specifically say he must be sentenced to death, but the council regrets finalizing on this decision. Vere knows that if he lets Billy go alive that he will have to resign as captain for not following the law. Vere knew what was right even if that meant having a guilty conscience the rest of his

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