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Billy Budd By: Herman Mellville Herman Melville. On the ship, Billy is admired by everyone except that the protagonist, John Claggart. Claggart is very jealous and holds considerable amounts of contempt for him. Initially he tries to be nice to Billy but shortly his authentic jealousies surface. He starts to scold Billy for insignificant lapses and attempts to degrade him. In 1 instance when Billy spills a bowl of soup, Claggart sardonically says to Billy, Deep interior Claggart also thinks that Billy is secretly plotting against him. When his insanity really begins to take over, Claggart starts thinking of approaches to prove Billy for a traitor. Finally his chance came when a guardsman approached Billy in the middle of the night. He asked Billy if he wished to combine a mutiny effort including all the others that were impressed. He was also given a bribe. Billy became so mad that he almost drove the guardsman overboard. However, when Claggart learned of this, he instantly ran directly to Captain Vere. Captain Vere was a well-educated, handsome guy. He was stern but he was just. He offered Billy a opportunity to see his accuser and Billy acce...