Herman Vere afraid of mutinyamong his sailors does not

         Herman Melvill’s
Billy Budd has been identified as “a novel of ideas”. One of the ideas that
Melvill points out to his readers is the role of a judge in achieving justice. From
the moment Billy strikes Claggart on his head and hi died, Captain Vere, the witness
of the awful situation and in this case would be the judge of the same case has
no doubt of what will happen to Billy. He clams right the way that Billy has to
hang before any others become award of the situation. Even though this idea
does not fit with what he thinks is right, he decided to go with the law
instead of using his authority to do what he believes is the right thing.

         At this time,
there were mutinies going on the sea. So captain Vere afraid of mutinyamong his
sailors does not want to give it any opportinuty to occure on the Billipotent
ship. Therefore, he want to go againdt his own will to procecute Billy, which
he and his fellow sailors do not think is the right thing to do. to execute
Billy as fast as possible before the other sailors think Bill killed his
superior official and get away with it. He also thinks that this will encourage
others to do the same thing or act of mutiny. Captain Vere imediatetly decided
to procecute Billy before assembling the drumhead court. “Struck dead by an
angel of God! Yet the angel must hang!”(Melvill champter19 page63). Captain
Vere who has decides to punish Billy with death penalty regardless of his
felling toward him, compares Billy to “an angel of God,” but at the same time
he is devoted to punish the angel of God with the punishment of murder as
prescribed by the law of war.

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         As Vere commits to
go with the law instead of following his emotions and thought, he urge the
court assemble to follow the law and prosecute Billy without delay. But captain
Vere’s unusual behavior and ability to make fair trial, is questioned by the
Sargent. The narrator mentions “He recalled the unwonted agitation of Captain
Vere and his excited exclamations, so at variance with his normal manner. Was
he unhinged?” (Melvill. Chapter 20, page 60). Here, the surgeon thinks, Captain
Vere’s conclusion  to prosecute Billy is
a rush  move. Instead he thinks it would
be better to detain Billy and bring the case to admiral. He nevertheless has no
choice, but to execute the Captain’s orders since he does not see himself fit
to argue the Captain’s wishes. At the hearing, the surgent found out that the
other captains and lieutenants share his though. They do not agree with captain
Vere’s decision, but instead each one of them thinks that the judgement of the
admiral should determine Billy’s faith.

         Death penalty? Is
it the only and absolute justice that Billy can get as a result of stinking
Claggart? Certainly not, And we see that during the hearing. In deciding the
case, the captain and his assemble have considered different ideas of the
situation they can take or disregard. Such as is stricking Claggart by Billy an
intational act to kill him. Or is it to communicate his innocence. Also the
court could consider the fact that Billy is admiring by everyon for his
behavior. The assemble questioned Billy’s good nature and honesty character to
get a sense of his motive in killing Claggart. 
Instead of him answering the question, Vere declares that the question
is not relevant to the mater; and illustrate that the situation has to be
judged based on the action and the outcome. He even went farther more to say
that “the blow’s consequence, which consequence justly is to be deemed not
otherwise than as the striker’s deed.” (Melvill. Chapter 21, page 69).

Here instead of find evidence of why Claggart accused Billy of conspiracy
mutiny allegations, Vere is shutting up any opportunity that may help Billy to
escape the sanctions of murder as written by the law of naval, which is to
prosecute murders.

         Why did Vere
disregard all fellings including his own ones and put Billy to trial without
bringing his case to admiral? Early in the book, the narrator provides us with
the information that those involved with mutiny were able to absolve their
wrongs by serving valiantly afterwards. But Billy on the other hand, did not
get the change to redeem himself with a better behavior in the future
accusatins. Certainly because Vere is devoted to deter any other sailor form
thinking about mutiny. As mentioned above, he fears that letting Billy get away
with this crime, would encourage other sailors to revolt in performing mutiny.

So that let him with no choice but to put Billy on trial to keep any chance of
a mutiny at bay. The narrator introduces us to Vere’s determination once again
in this quote “Feeling that unless quick action was taken on it, the deed of
the foretopman, so soon as it should be known on the gun decks, would tend to
awaken any slumbering embers of the Nore among the crew, a sense of the urgency
of the case overruled in Captain Vere every other consideration.” (cha21 page
66). Here, Vere is shown his fears of others being engaged in mutiny in
Billipotent ship as a result of Billy killing the Captain of arms and not get
punished for it. Moreover, captain Vere does not convoke the drumhead court to
shift his responsibilities of making the decision away from him. His reations
are all intended to serve the king and let this situation end up in a way that
would result in questioning his ability of captain would not fulfill this.

         To sum it up, captain
Vere fells empathy toward Billy after the incident, but as a ship’s captain hi
finds himself legally obliged to punish him while his conscience and his
authority contradict one another. So one can conclude that, Vere prosecuted
Billy not because he is again him, but because he wants to achieve justice at
the same time to deter any act of mutiny in his ship. And Billy seem to
understand that because after Vere announced him the decision, Vere fells like
he own him something. So it is clear that Billy is only prosecuted Vere has to
act like a judge by following the law. Billy said that “God bless captain Vere”
before hi was hanged, to show that he has no problem with the decision.