Law vs Morality

Law vs Morality - Scott Smith ENG 209 Philp Law vs Morality...

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Scott Smith 12/4/02 ENG 209, Philp Law vs. Morality Billy Budd, a sailor in Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor , is from England. Part of our heritage also lies in England so we may draw comparisons between Billy’s situations and our own. We were impressed into tyranny by a king in England. Billy was impressed into the British Navy by an officer aboard a war ship. We must sacrifice our rights to make life as peaceful as possible. Billy must sacrifice his freedom and eventually his life in order to make things better others. We must struggle with the moral issues that are caused by clashing ideals. Billy must deal with moral dilemmas caused by another person’s ideals clashing with his own. Billy takes on the character of the common man throughout the timeline of civilization that must struggle under powerful leaders and eventually sacrifice his ideals for the good of the whole group. The Captain of Billy’s ship, Captain Vere, is faced with the decision of how to punish Billy for killing a superior officer. Although Billy’s actions were justified by his own moral code, Vere decides to hang Billy to preserve the health of the Naval order. If Billy were to get away with killing a superior officer, then uprisings will occur more often on the ship. Vere is sacrificing morality for law by choosing to hang Billy in the name of the law, but go against his own moral instincts that say not to kill other human beings. This
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2008 for the course ENG 209 taught by Professor Philp during the Spring '02 term at Anne Arundel CC.

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Law vs Morality - Scott Smith ENG 209 Philp Law vs Morality...

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