Study Guide

Billy Budd Characters

By Herman Melville

Billy Budd

Depending on which edition of Billy Budd you're using, you may have a good-looking Fabio type guy...

John Claggart

The narrator doesn't know a lot about John Claggart – just like he doesn't know a lot about...

Captain Edward Fairfax Vere

In the narrator's description of Captain Vere, perhaps the key point he makes is that Vere is...

The Dansker

The Dansker is a quiet old Danish man aboard the Bellipotent that acts as something of an oracle...

Captain Graveling

Graveling is the Captain aboard the Rights-of-Man, Billy's old ship. When Ratcliffe recruits...

Lieutenant Ratcliffe

Ratcliffe serves as the boarding officer for the Bellipotent. When examining the men from the...

An Afterguard

The afterguard is a stranger that appears on deck to ask Billy if he will take part in a mutiny....

The Chaplain

The chaplain appears late in the novel to give Billy his last rites before he is executed. He...

The Surgeon

The surgeon is called in after Billy strikes Claggart. He can immediately see that Claggart is...

The Purser

The Purser makes a brief appearance after Billy's execution as "a rather ruddy, rotund person...

Squeak

Squeak is one of the master-at-arms' "more cunning corporals," known for his squeaky voice and...

Red Whiskers

On board Billy's old ship, the Rights-of-Man, Red Whiskers was the one man that initially didn't...