MOBY-DICK Biography - Fictional, Iconical & Mythological characters


Biography » fictional iconical mythological characters » moby dick


Name: Moby Dick                                                                     
Moby Dick is an 1851 novel by Herman Melville. The story tells the adventures       
of the wandering sailor Ishmael and his voyage on the whaling ship Pequod,         
commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab does not mean to use       
the Pequod and her crew to hunt whales for market trade, as whaling ships           
generally do. Ahab seeks one specific whale, Moby-Dick, a great white whale of     
tremendous size and ferocity. Comparatively few whaling ships know of Moby-Dick,   
and fewer yet have knowingly encountered the whale. In a previous encounter, the   
whale destroyed Ahab's boat and bit off Ahab's leg. Ahab intends to exact           
revenge on the whale.                                                               
In Moby Dick, Melville employs stylized language, symbolism, and metaphor to       
explore a number of complex themes which he believes are universal. Through the     
main character's journey, the concepts of class and social status, good and evil,   
and the existence of gods are all examined as Ishmael attempts to determine his     
personal beliefs and his individual significance. The narrator's reflections,       
along with his descriptions of a sailor's life aboard a whaling ship, are woven     
into the narrative along with Shakespearean literary devices such as stage         
directions, extended soliloquies and asides.                                       
Often considered the embodiment of American Romanticism, Moby-Dick was first       
published by Richard Bentley in London on October 18, 1851 in an expurgated         
three-volume edition entitled The Whale, and later as one massive volume, by New   
York City publisher Harper and Brothers as Moby-Dick; or, The Whale on November     
14, 1851. The first line of Chapter One—"Call me Ishmael." is one of the most     
famous in literature. Although the book initially received negative reviews,       
Moby-Dick is now considered one of the greatest novels in the English language     
and has secured Melville's place among America's greatest writers.