In Search for the Villain in Herman Melville's "Billy Budd, Sailor"

  • Ahmed Hashim Abbas
Keywords: villain, crew, mutiny, accusation, execution • The title is going to be abbreviated into BBS


Billy Budd, Sailor* is the last novel penned by Herman Melville. This work is posthumously published. In this novel, Melville, once more, as it is known about him, is going to probe deeply inside the human's mind and soul. He is concerned with the problems of human being on the seas and oceans to generalize the sense of neither equality among men who came from dissimilar countries and cultures declaring that there is neither superiority nor inferiority among people of different cultures and ancestry. Their efforts decide who the most important person is and who has less importance in the rank of the work. The sailors share the same circumstances to save themselves from storms, sharks and other mysterious forces, but still the innate instincts rooted inside each one of them lead some not only to control and subject but to arrest and murder each other.

      In this work, the researcher is going to deal critically with the three principal characters of the oeuvre to decide who the villain is. The researcher is also going to analyze and evaluate critically each one of the villains because each has his own merits but without demerits. However, some of these demerits and faults may be forgiven and some are justified _according to the characters, readers and the researcher _ but there are some destructive demerits incited by evil power to cause destruction to the ship .The researcher is going to give evidences to prove the opinions and views that support the critics' viewpoints to arrive at his aim.

          The present paper comprises three parts each is named after one of the villains. In each of them, the researcher is going to discuss, elaborate and evaluate the virtues and the vices of them. Moreover, the researcher enhances his ideas by the opinions and depictions of some critics and gives some elaborative instances from the text to reach his aims which is to determine who the villain is. Also, the study has a concluding part in which the researcher is going to unfold the villain's name according to his point of view.