Critical Essays Form of Billy Budd

At several places in the novel, the crew serves as a chorus. The Dansker cryptically delivers the Delphic message to Billy, “Jemmy Legs is down on you.” At the moment that Billy strikes Claggart, Captain Vere whispers, “Fated boy.” From the moment of Billy’s hanging, there is falling action until the novel comes to a close with the choric ode, “Billy in the Darbies.”