Characters of moby dick

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Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up.

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Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. Starbuck is the first mate of the Pequod, and operates as the voice of reason aboard the ship.

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Captain Ahab The mad captain of the PequodAhab had been a respectable Quaker whaling captain until he lost his leg to the white whale, Moby Dick. Ahab bears the name of the wicked biblical king, and an old squaw predicted at birth that his name would prove prophetic. He vows revenge on the White Whale and follows it around the world, refusing to budge in his fixed purpose.

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Ahab is the Captain of the Pequod, a grave older man reaching his sixties who has spent nearly forty years as a sailor, only three of which he has spent on dry land Melville alludes to Ahab as having a wife and son, but their existence seems of little significance to Ahab. The novel is essentially the story of Ahab and his quest to defeat the legendary Sperm Whale Moby Dick, for this whale took Ahab's leg, causing him to use an ivory leg to walk and stand. Ahab is a dour, imposing man who frightens his crew through his unwavering obsession with defeating Moby Dick and his grand hubris. In many respects Melville portrays Ahab as barely human, barely governed by human mores and conventions and nearly entirely subject to his own obsession with Moby Dick.

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The narrator of the book is also a possible Everyman. He does almost nothing important in the book — except to survive the sinking of the Pequod. His job is to describe everything around him — in particular, the conflicts.

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Ishmael The narrator of the novel is a keen observer, a young man with an open mind who is wary of Ahab but, like most of the crew, swept away by the captain's charisma. Ahab The "grand, ungodly, god-like man" is a deeply complex figure, one of the most controversial in American literature. His monomaniacal hunt for Moby Dick dominates the novel's plot.

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Ishmael: The narrator of the story, Ishmael disappears into his own tale after the first ten or so chapters, popping up periodically to give comments on the text. He is an every man; as such, it is difficult to describe specific things about him. He is a schoolteacher on the land, and has an open mind when it comes to the world around him.

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Characters appearing in the novel Moby-Dick. The narrator and sometimes protagonist of the novel, Ishmael is a Manhattan Islander with an apparently chronic desire to sail, which leads him to New Bedford and onto the crew of the Pequod. By far the most famous character in the novel, Ahab is the captain of the Pequodwho has abandoned commercial whaling in favor of his obsession with hunting down and taking revenge on the whale which ate his leg: Moby Dick. Community Showcase More.

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Ahab's intensity frightens the rest of the men on board; his search seems motivated less by rational concerns than by darker impulses. Despite his darkness, however, Ahab possesses deeper feelings, more "soul," than perhaps anyone else in the novel. He agonizes over the loneliness of the sea even as he celebrates its loveliness, and longs for human companionship even as his obsessions distance him from all others.

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Course Hero. Moby-Dick Study Guide. In Course Hero.

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