YMMV / Billy Budd

The book:

The opera:

  • Designated Hero: Captain Vere. We're supposed to feel sorry for him and pity the terrible moral dilemmas he had to face. But wait a sec. Those dilemmas arose out of the paranoid, violent, and corrupt atmosphere on-board the Indomitable, in particular the bullying behavior of the officers. It is Captain Vere's job to keep the officers in line, but he never says a word against them. The awful situation on board the Indomitable is his fault because he was either too dumb to notice the officers' cruelty, too weak to stop them, or he genuinely thought cruelty was the best way to run a ship. Why do we feel bad for him again?
  • Tear Jerker: Billy's hanging
    • All of Act 4, Scene 1: Billy in the Darbies, Dansker’s visit, and “And farewell to ye old Rights O’ Man”, as Billy gradually comes to terms with his impending death
  • Wangst: Vere. All the time. That's because it's an opera. What did you expect?