Moby Dick

what is the effect of making ahab the subject of superstitious stories

ahab appears a man cut away from the fire of forge from broze of seasmed by lighting like a great tree

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Even before Ishmael boards the Pequod, the Nantucket strangers Elijah warns Ishmael and Queequeg against traveling with Captain Ahab. The Parsee Fedallah also has a prophetic dream concerning Ahab's quest against Moby Dick, dreaming of hearses (although he misinterprets the dream to mean that Ahab will certainly kill Moby Dick). Indeed, the characters are bound by superstition and myth: the only reason that the Pequod kills a Right Whale is the legend that a ship will have good luck if it has the head of a Right Whale and the head of a Sperm Whale on its opposing sides. An additional harbinger of doom found in Moby Dick occurs when a hawk takes Ahab's hat, thus recalling the story of Tarquin and how his wife Tanaquil predicted that it was a sign that he would become king of Rome.