Billy Budd (novel)/YMMV

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The book:

  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: "God bless Captain Vere!"
  • Evil Is Cool: Without Claggart, nothing would happen. Ever.
  • Foe Yay: Claggart towards Billy, who's too innocent to notice it.
  • Freud Was Right:
    • Soup-spilling scene. First, the soup itself, descibed as "greasy fluid". Second, Claggart's reaction: "Pausing, he was about to ejaculate something hasty at the sailor, but checked himself, and pointing down to the streaming soup, playfully tapped him from behind with his rattan, saying in a low musical voice peculiar to him at times, "Handsomely done, my lad! And handsome is as handsome did it too!"" (Emphasis mine; if this is not subtext, nothing is.)
    • "Jemmy Legs is down on you." Even the old wise guy knows it.
    • "To be nothing more than innocent! Yet in an aesthetic way he [Claggart] saw the charm of it, the courageous free-and-easy temper of it, and fain would have shared it, but he despaired of it."
    • "When Claggart's unobserved glance happened to light on belted Billy rolling along the upper gun deck in the leisure of the second dog-watch, exchanging passing broadsides of fun with other young promenaders in the crowd; that glance would follow the cheerful sea-Hyperion with a settled meditative and melancholy expression, his eyes strangely suffused with incipient feverish tears. Then would Claggart look like the man of sorrows. Yes, and sometimes the melancholy expression would have in it a touch of soft yearning, as if Claggart could even have loved Billy but for fate and ban."
  • Ho Yay - The whole story is about it.

The opera: