H.M.S. Avenger is headed into battle against the French fleet during the Napoleonic Wars, and the dark shadow of two recent mutinies in the English fleet concern Captain Vere. He relies on his cruel and often sadistic Master-at-Arms John Claggert to maintain what he believes to be tenuous order and discipline aboard the ship. When a new seaman, Billy Budd, is pressed into service from a passing merchantman, his innocent, happy-go-lucky attitude quickly endears him to both his messmates as well as the ship's officers. However, his charismatic naivete seems to bother Claggert, whose perverse depravity makes him resent Billy's good-natured purity, especially after the teenager's promotion to fore-top captain. The mean-spirited Claggert unfairly plots to put him on report and ultimately perjures himself when he accuses Billy of conspiring to mutiny. Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Men!.. The Mutiny!...The Might!... The Magnitude Of Herman Melville's Classic Adventure of the High Seas!
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Did You Know?
had been writing poetry for 30 years when he returned to fiction with "Billy Budd" in late 1888. Still unfinished when he died in 1891, it was forgotten. Melville's biographer accidentally stumbled upon it when going through a trunk of the writer's papers in his granddaughter's New Jersey home in 1919. Melville's widow worked to help complete it, and it was finally published in 1924. Over the years other unsatisfactory versions were published, but it wasn't until Melville's original notes were found that the definitive version was ultimately published in 1962. Ironically Peter Ustinov
's film version was released the same year. See more
When Claggart dies, his head tilts to his right. The Captain and Billy exit the cabin. Moments later, the Captain and surgeon return to the cabin. Claggart's head is pointing straight forward. See more
You know Seymour, there are some men who cannot stand too much perfection. They see it as a disease, which must be stamped out at it's first rash showing.
As the cast is listed onscreen, the actors are heard stating their characters' names and ranks. See more
Featured in The Man Who Fell to Earth