Billy Budd

Tonight to Billy Budd.

In the scene where Claggart accuses Budd and then is brought in to state his case to Budd’s face before Captain Vere, the resemblance to current events in my day job, where a rogue by using appearances may well work a great injustice by the letter of the law, was just too close to the bone, and I shut my eyes. I just could not bear to watch.

As a result, I missed the crucial moment where Budd, unable to answer because of his stammer, floors Claggart with a blow which kills him.

Though not in themselves relevant to his guilt, Claggart’s accusations are told as part of the narrative of events at the drum-head court martial which follows immediately. The accusations are uncontroverted and by their appearance prevail. Budd is found guilty of striking Claggart and killing him.

Budd is hanged from the yard-arm. Things are rarely so bad in my own line of work. Maybe I need to lighten up.

More about the opera itself in a later post, if I have time.

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