Billy Budd, Sailor
DUE DATE REMINDERS
BB Capital Punishment Essay due FRIDAY 13th to turnitin.com
MONDAY & TUESDAY
Vocab Quiz 20-30
-Review Bennett Letter Response and Rubric
Check BB Annotations 24-30
Review BB Language and Story 24-30
Pair Work on BB Review Qs 16-30
THURSDAY & FRIDAY
Annotate Various Sources
Reading and responding to essay excerpts in the back of your text:
JOURNAL ENTRY #19:
"Billy Budd and Capital Punishment: A Tale of Three Centuries"
Answer questions following H. Bruce Franklin's essay excerpt:
Billy Budd is not, however, a mere treatise against capital punishment. Melville is using contemporaneous awareness about the issue to explore the larger ethical, philosophic, and political questions it so dramatically focuses. Undoubtedly New York Assemblyman Hitt was overstating the case when he claimed in early 1890, "at present there are only two classes of the community who yet favor capital punishment and these are clergymen and prosecuting attorneys."(60) Nevertheless, Melville could safely assume that almost all potential readers in 1891 would regard public execution and hanging as relics of a barbarous past, would be sensitized to the larger issues surrounding capital punishment, and would already either oppose the death penalty outright or consider it warranted only for first-degree murder and treason. Even the most ardent proponents of the death penalty in late nineteenth-century America would be embarrassed by positions such as these: "Vere justifiably condemns Billy to death" (Peter Shaw); Billy Budd is a "murderer and a cause of his own death" and Melville "is to be identified" with Captain Vere (Milton Stern); "the virtuous man, Captain Vere," must "punish the violence of absolute innocence"--that is, must kill Billy Budd--since "absolute, natural innocence" is "at war with the peace of the world and the true welfare of mankind" (Hannah Arendt).(61) Readers in 1891 would be far more likely to wonder, like the surgeon (235) and the narrator (236-37), whether Vere is insane.
1) Is there any evidence that Captain Vere is insane? How might this impact his decision to ask for Billy's death?
2) Is Melville a "murderer?" Why might people consider him thus?
3) Is our new system of putting individuals to death (by lethal injection) humane? Are they still public spectacles?
4) Recall that slavery is a hot topic back then. How does Melville weave his condemnation of it into his text?
5) Consider the ending of the book, how might citizens back then respond compared to now? List all elements of the modern versus the older arguments.
NOTE: If you would like I will incorporate a peer editing session into the agenda; however, you will be expected to come prepared.
BB ESSAY DUE TO TURNITIN.COM by 11:59 tonight. If you run into any problems please email me a copy, if you run into complications beyond that you will need to have a parent excuse...this is part of your final for the semester.
MONDAY & TUESDAY
Vocab Quiz 10-19
Check BB Annotations 16-19
Review BB Language and Story 6-19
(Collect Review BB 1-15: distribute 16-30)
Check BB Annotations 20-23
-types of emphasis
THURSDAY & FRIDAY
Review BB 10-20
JOURNAL ENTRY #18
Record the persuasive elements of Vere's speech, Ch 21, pp 96-99:
1) When does he shift styles (change in tone), or how does he adjust his speech for his audience?
2) Identify and outline Vere's thesis, supporting evidence and conclusion?
3) What is his most persuasive point and why?
4) Are you convinced by the end of his speech? What decision would you make and why?
HW Finish reading BB, and annotations, check MONDAY; work on essay.