According to the narrator, Claggart is born evil. Do you believe that some people are inherently evil?
Much of the novella's symbolic weight rests on the reader agreeing with the narrator's assessments of Claggart and Billy. But that's a difficult position for modern readers to take. The discussion of this question will give students a chance to work through their disagreements with the narrator, but they should be reminded that some of Billy Budd is meant to be read symbolically, not realistically.
Is Billy Budd homophobic? Claggart is physically attracted to Billy and may have flirted with him, but the narrator suggests that this attraction also includes the desire to...
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