This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

An Analysis Of The Article Billy Budd And Capital Punishment: A Tale Of Three Centuries

1645 words - 7 pages

H. Bruce Franklin of “Billy Budd and Capital Punishment: A Tale of Three Centuries” investigates the underlying controversial feud that represents the issue of the story, and details the debates surrounding the “profound influence on American culture” (1-18).
Capital Punishment is a controversial debate that has been justified and condemned for over a century. When interpreting Billy Budd, there are two general ways to judge the novel, either by admiration or by condemning the story. Both judgments are complete opposites and are entirely hostile toward one another, a way of exemplifying the groups for and against the issue of capital punishment. The article, “Billy Budd and Capital ...view middle of the document...

This issue in the story is the portrayal of the unjust display of capital punishment that was wrongfully sentenced. Franklin emphasizes that in order to understand this issue in Billy Budd, the reader would have to obtain knowledge of the debates occurring in New York. These debates dealt with the consequence of capital punishment and the offenses committed that would deserve this sentence, one of the offenses being the clear intention to kill another, an offense Budd did not commit, as justified by the group whom condemns Vere’s decision. It is here where the controversy is presented with Billy Budd, and where the opposing groups form to either justify Vere’s decision to persecute Budd, for he clearly killed Claggart and an example needed to be presented to the other sailors that consequences would be enforced if an offense occurred, or condemn Vere for his decision, for Budd killed a man superior in his standing, but did so unintentionally. This is the critical issue presented in Billy Budd, and Melville’s portrayal of capital punishment as a whole, for the controversy in the story exemplifies the greater issues of not only the debates in New York, but the worldwide struggle to either justify or condemn the practice of capital punishment.
Since the “Bloody Code”, a period of time when execution was common, was disliked in both England and America, participants in both opposing groups agreed that eliminating most of the codes capital offenses would be a notable achievement in society (3). Opponents of the death penalty referred of the “Georgian Code” as barbaric and repulsive, as well as “a scandal to the rest of the civilized world” (3). Advocates of capital punishment celebrated the progress digressing away from the Bloody Code, especially since England reduced capital offenses to “three class” of murder, none including circumstances of excitement, sudden passion, or provocation (3). However, articles favoring capital punishment argued that executions should be sentenced when intended murder has taken place by the same person who either resisted arrest or was charged with another crime. Since Budd didn’t necessarily kill Claggart with intent, he still killed a man “superior in grade” while Vere instructs the court that they must dismiss the concept of his intent because nevertheless, he struck a man in a higher position than himself [Budd]. As a consequence for his offense, Budd then receives the sentencing of public execution by hanging, a form of capital punishment repulsed by groups but praised by the opposing party. However, current debates in New York were progressing and as a result, the practice of capital punishment was diminishing slowly, with multiple states reducing the consequences deserved for a punishable felony. Furthermore, punishments for committing an offense were becoming racially unjust, such as in 1848 when Virginia passed a statue requiring the death penalty for blacks be punishable by three or more years than if...

Other Essays Like An Analysis Of The Article Billy Budd And Capital Punishment: A Tale Of Three Centuries

Downfalls of Capital Punishment Essay

1449 words - 6 pages Looking out for the state of the publics satisfaction in the scheme of capital sentencing does not constitute serving justice. Todays system of capital punishment is frought with inequalities and injustices. The commonly offered arguments for the death penalty are filled with holes. It was a deterrent. It removed killers. It was the ultimate punishment. It is biblical. It satisfied the publics need for retribution. It

Composers of the Centuries Essay

753 words - 4 pages Knut Nystedt is an orchestral and choral composer, born September 3, 1915, in Kristiania which is now Oslo, Norway. He grew up in a Christian home where hymns and classical music were a vital part of everyday life. His major compositions for choir and vocal soloists are mainly based on texts from the Bible or themes that are considered sacred. Old church music, especially Palestrina and Gregorian chants, have had a major influence on his

The Aclu and Capital Punishment

1143 words - 5 pages doing so because it interferes with the first amendment, being the right to life. Capital punishment cases also clog the court system with appeals and hearings, and aren’t any cheaper for the state than a life in prison without the chance for parole charge would be. The ACLU is founded on protecting our civil rights, which include our right to life. Capital punishment violates the right to life provided by Article 3 of the Universal Declaration

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Is Simply a Tale of Crime and Punishment. How Do You Respond to This View?

919 words - 4 pages , preventing it from being considered a tale of ‘crime and punishment’ as the punishment is not predetermined or rational. Also the magnitude of the punishment, an eternal cruel existence, suggests that the narrative is not centered around ‘crime and punishment’ as it is grossly disproportionate in comparison to the ‘crime’. However it could be interpreted that despite the element of chance, both possible punishment are terrible, which

Capital Punishment Essays - Benefits of the Death Penalty

634 words - 3 pages society. It asks our citizens to rely on legal procedures rather than to self-help their wrongs doings. It is morally right to sentence a person to the death penalty who has commited a serious crime as murder. If someone has murdered a person it is unethical to let the murderer live when you have an innocent person who is dead. Capital Punishment has to be based entirely on consideration of justice and morality.   Finally, the

The Little Prince — a fairy tale of love and life

2130 words - 9 pages The Little Prince ——a fairy tale of love and life As many other fairy tales,the outline of The Little Prince is not very complex.The narrator of the story is a pilot whose plane had something wrong and had to land in the Sahara, then the pilot made the acquaintance of the little prince who came from another planet.The little prince had left his tiny planet as there was something wrong with the relationship

Capital Punishment and Euthanasia

3227 words - 13 pages , deoxyribonucleic aid (DNA), junk science, and incompetent lawyers. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, debate raged about the appropriateness and effectiveness of capital punishment. Philosophers, legal scholars, and church leaders spoke out against the death penalty as an immoral and barbaric practice (Banner, 2002). Many in the public grew discontented with the perceived economic and racial unfairness of the system (Banner, 2002

Analysis of Three Idiots

1579 words - 7 pages , he grabbed the only opportunity offered him to study that is to enroll in an engineering course by using the name of his master’s son. He is an intelligent, loving, caring and concerned individual who doesn’t stop at sacrificing himself to help other people, especially his friends. He has a mature personality who has a deeper understanding of human nature, which gets him in contention with his professors. He believes that that one should follow

A Tale of Paper

955 words - 4 pages Certainty Equivalent and Risk Premium Figure 2.9 indicates that Taylor is indifferent between the risky commission scheme, which has an expected payoff of $100,000, and a certain income of $80,000. The $80,000 is Taylor’s certainty equivalent for the risky income stream—he is willing to trade the uncertain income of $100,000 for a certain income of $80,000. The difference between the expected value of the risky income stream and the certainty

Should the Abolishment of Capital Punishment in the United States Should Be Applied

1255 words - 6 pages unsubstantial correlation between the capital punishment and deterrence exists, some people still believe that society can be safer by using this punishment to reduce the crime rate. Extremely punishing somebody as an example have a strong possibility to create the fear of death into who would be killers. According to Haag (1983), “Therefore, nothing will deter a criminal more than the fear of death, life in prison is less feared. Murderers

Comparison of Beka Lamb and Billy Casper

1225 words - 5 pages Britain, in a single parent family. His family is very dysfunctional (unlike Beka’s) comprising of a prostitute mother who is unsympathetic and a poor role model and an abusive (physically and emotionally) older brother who works in “t’pit” (local mine). He is ignored and disliked by his family and unlike Beka, has learnt to lead an independent life at an early age. Billy holds a low position in society and t his is evident in the life he

Related Papers

The Pros And Cons Of Capital Punishment

1275 words - 6 pages very regressive. Society needs to resist certain urges like these that are destructive. Laws kill people who killed people, but do not condemn arsonists, rapists, or robbers the same way. ("Capital Punishment: The Inevitability of Caprice and Mistake" 54-64) The punishment for the crime should not equate to the crime done. It only affirms the action and calls it right in some situations and wrong in the other situations. An execution cannot be

"A Tale Of Three Trees." This Is A Synopsis Of The Classic Christian Tale

452 words - 2 pages .*The third tree: Wishes to stay where he is and grow tall so that when people look at him, they will raise their eyes to the heavens and think of God.Plot summary:"The Tale of Three Trees." Apparently it is an old Christian folktale. It is about 3 trees that each want to do something great. One tree wants to be a big boat that is fit for a king. Another wants to hold a lot of treasure. The last one wants to be the talles tree and point to GodSoon

A Tale Of Three Wheels In The Bicycle Industry

778 words - 4 pages A Tale of Three Wheels in the Bicycle Industry Pacific Cycle Chris Hornung, the founder and the first CEO of Pacific Cycle grabs a lion’s share of the U.S. bicycle markets. In 2005, around 19.8 millions of bicycle were sold in U.S. the total retail value of bikes, parts, and accessories were more than $6 billion. There are basically hundreds of bicycle manufacturers in U.S., but they are small specialized firm. Pacific Cycle is

Ethics Of Capital Punishment Essay

1853 words - 8 pages THE ETHICS OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT The word “capital” in “capital punishment” refers to a person’s head. Capital punishment is the punishment given to the guilty by the state on a specific crime after a proper legal trail in the court. The punishment could be execution also known as “death penalty”. The punishment can only be issued by a state and a group or entity (a non-state organization) in accordance with proper laws relating to the