And someday Tomkins would love to sing Claggart
from Britten 's Billy Budd.
With his powerful bass voice, Phillip Ens gives a sinister, compelling portrayal of the malevolent master-at-arms, John Claggart
, and as Captain Vere, tenor John Mark Ainsley embodies the opera's conflicted protagonist.
Budd and Claggart
represent "two types of reading--Budd's naive or literal tendencies are set against Claggarts
ironic incursions, which assume that the relation between sign and meaning can be arbitrary.
If you're doing a malicious villain like Hagen or Claggart
, compared with, say, Baron Ochs, the loveable rogue in Rosenkavalier, or Leporello, the rather mischievous servant of Don Giovanni, this wide variety, they are interdependent, each one helps the other.
The theatrical confrontation between father and son takes place the next evening at the top of a hill above the city: it is the fabled scene of the "three temptations," overdetermined by allegory and intertextuality --recalling the long debate between Cass Edmonds and young Ike McCaslin in "The Bear," transparently evoking myths alive in the Christian imaginary and artistry, but also evoking the confrontation of the Grand Inquisitor and Christ in the fable imagined by Ivan Karamazov and possibly, too, the paternal relation between Captain Vere and the young Billy Budd, unjustly accused by Claggart
but finally accepting the coexistence of good and evil, and eventually his own death.
Cameron finds that characters like Claggart
and Billy are "repeatedly differentiated in terms of antithetical properties," which construe their identities, but that is only so that Melville can disturbingly collapse such a differentiation, so that Billy, for instance, becomes equivalent to his antithesis, indiscriminately embracing traits that destroy his specificity.
The naval penalty for bearing false witness is death; Budd, who Vere knows is innocent, has thus fulfilled the sentence that Claggart
Paulson has little to say about the satanic characteristics of Chillingworth (The Scarlet Letter) and Claggart
(Billy Budd), nor does he acknowledge the intricate and subtle moral ambiguities in the two novels (as he does in his discussion of Henry James).
What she finds so disturbing about the novella is its narrative structure's suggesting that, despite the necessity of the negative example of the homosexual, a social order is possible after the extermination of Claggart
In Melville's short novel, Billy Budd, the central figure comes to a tragic end because of his inability to recognize the evil practiced and represented by petty officer and Master-at-Arms John Claggart
and Captain the Honorable Edward Fairfax Vere.
When the young Billy faces Captain Vere about Claggart
's false accusation of mutiny, he stutters and in a moment of despair, kills Claggart
with one blow.
Billy, unjustly accused by Claggart
and understandably retaliating with what turns out to be a killing blow, is clearly innocent in terms of natural law and should not be executed, at least according to the principles of equity.