Captain Ahab's Suicidal Pilgrimage In Moby Dick By Herman Melville

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Conscious Suicidal Pilgrimage Shuhab H Elhag “Moby-Dick”, by Herman Melville, is a tale of a monomaniacal suicidal pilgrimage of a Captain who is consumed with a compulsion to hunt for Moby-Dick, a white whale, and is plagued with revenge. Captain Ahab is a man “of few words but deep meaning”. Throughout the novel Captain Ahab remains obscure and withdrawn, fighting a war of sanity and insanity. Ahab represents both the egalitarian and quintessentially modern hero in this tale. He embodies the characteristics seen in Sophocles’ Oedipus; they both have a single fatal flaw. His prodigious hubris is culpable for his choice to abandon common sense, his god-like complex and his destined end. Unlike egalitarian heroes, Ahab’s fatal flaw is not…show more content…
He attributes him to nobility, “sea Prince of Wales” (55). In Chapter 82, Ishmael come to the conclusion that whaling is a high-born profession and portrays whalers as “heroes, saints, demigods, and prophets” (362). He describes whalers as martyr’s, “a whaleman is the tutelary guardian of England; and by good rights, we harpooners of Nantucket should be enrolled in 1 the most noble order of St. George” (361). Melville attributes England with nobility and…show more content…
Withal, the Manxman accurately deciphers the ill-fated outcome of the expedition, which Ahab intentionally is blind to. For instance, as the Pequod comes near the Rachel, he mumbles to himself that “’she brings bad news’” (p. 521), which is accurate as seen later. The Manxman portends when Ahab will confront Moby Dick, “'If the White Whale be raised, it must be in a month and a day’” (p. 431). Ahab chooses to ignore the ill-fated prophecies from the Manxman. The Manxman’s adoration for the sea and his accurate foretellings of the ill fortune to come, makes him an admonition of how audacious and brazen Ahab’s character is, to continue on his monomaniacal hunt for Moby Dick despite the ill-fortunes told to him. Thus, the Manxman is the antithesis to Ahab’s character,a fool when Ahab embodies the role of a hero, and as astute when Ahab reaches the height of his insanity. This relationship between Ahab and England is seen through the interaction between Ahab and the Manxman, and eventually a connection between Ahab and the Shakespearean hero will

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