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Billy Budd, Sailor
Herman Melville

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Holy Writ  That is, law proscribed by scripture. The narrator (ironically?) claims that biblical law no longer holds sway.

homage 1. Ceremonial acknowledgment by a vassal of allegiance to his lord under feudal law. 2. Special honor or respect shown or expressed publicly.

hull The hull is the frame or body of the ship excluding the masts and superstructure.

huzzah Used to express joy, encouragement, or triumph. noun 1. A shout of "huzzah." 2. A cheer.

Hyperion The Titan who was god of the sun until Apollo defeated him. Once again, Billy's comparison to a mythical figure serves to elevate his stature.


iconoclast 1. One who attacks and seeks to overthrow traditional or popular ideas or institutions. 2. One who destroys sacred religious images.

ignominious 1. Marked by shame or disgrace: "It was an ignominious end . . . as a desperate mutiny by a handful of soldiers blossomed into full-scale revolt" (Angus Deming). 2. Deserving disgrace or shame; despicable. 3. Degrading; debasing: "The young people huddled with their sodden gritty towels and ignominious goosebumps inside the gray-shingled bathhouse" (John Updike).

immure 1. To confine within or as if within walls; imprison. 2. To build into a wall: immure a shrine. 3. To entomb in a wall.

imperial 1. Of, relating to, or suggestive of an empire or a sovereign, especially an emperor or empress: imperial rule; the imperial palace. 2. Ruling over extensive territories or over colonies or dependencies: imperial nations. 3. a. Having supreme authority; sovereign. b. Regal; majestic. 4. Outstanding in size or quality.

impetuous 1. Characterized by sudden and forceful energy or emotion; impulsive and passionate. 2. Having or marked by violent force: impetuous, heaving waves.

impale 1. a. To pierce with a sharp stake or point. b. To torture or kill by impaling. 2. To render helpless as if by impaling.

impress 1. To compel (a person) to serve in a military force. 2. To seize (property) by force or authority; confiscate.

incipient Beginning to exist or appear: detecting incipient tumors; an incipient personnel problem.

incumbent 1. Imposed as an obligation or a duty; obligatory: felt it was incumbent on us all to help. 2. Lying, leaning, or resting on something else: incumbent rock strata. 3. Currently holding a specified office: the incumbent mayor.
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