Billy Budd


Herman Melville

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Billy Budd: Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

The narrator says that on the Indomitable there was no hint of mutiny, as the sailors were loyal to Captain Vere, a bachelor about 40 years old, who was brave and always mindful of his men's welfare. He had an unassuming demeanor—in fact, the narrator says, if he were in civilian garb, one could mistake him for a guest onboard. He had a modest, aristocratic virtue and often daydreamed while looking out at the sea. He was given the nickname "Starry Vere," taken from a line in a poem by Andrew Marvell.
The Indomitable is a well-functioning vessel because all of its sailors are loyal to their brave captain. Captain Vere's appearance can be deceiving: aside from his clothing, he might seem like a civilian, despite the fact that he is an accomplished naval commander.
Natural Character and Appearance Theme Icon
Duty, Loyalty, and Camaraderie Theme Icon