From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Billy Budd

Billy Budd

  

by Herman Melville

Squeak

Character Analysis

Squeak is one of the master-at-arms' "more cunning corporals," known for his squeaky voice and ferreting movements (13.1). Claggart recruits him to do his dirty work: to spy on Billy Budd and report back to him.

The problem is that Squeak, "having naturally enough concluded that his master could have no love for the sailor," decides to elaborate on the stories he knows and to make up epithets about Claggart and put them in Billy's mouth (13.3). Squeak has a very small role in the story, but his ugly ambition is part of the reason that Claggart is able to frame Billy.

Advertisement