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In many works of art such as Shakespearian and Greek tragedies, character has been many a time been blamed for the destiny that is ultimate for a character. These characters usually have a fatal flaw or a great heart that inevitably lead them to their deaths or salvation. Thi9s is a device that Melville uses in Moby Dick in the development of several characters.
Ahab, the Pequod's fanatical captain, corresponds to both a primeval and a characteristically contemporary kind of hero. Similar to the heroes of Greek or Shakespearean tragedies, Ahab suffer has a particular fatal flaw, one he shares with such renowned characters as Faust and Oedipus. His incredible boldness, or hubris, leads him to go against common sense and deem that, similar to a god, he can perform his will and stay invulnerable to the forces of the natural world.
He regards Moby Dick as the personification of wickedness on earth, and he hunts the White Whale monomaniacally since he believes it his unavoidable destiny to obliterate this wickedness. According to the (Melville 2009,pp.23) , such a tragic hero "stirs us to sympathy for the reason that, as he is not an wicked man, his calamity is larger than he justified; but he stirs us as well to trepidation, since we are acquainted with comparable potential of faults in our individual lesser and mortal persons."
Dissimilar to the heroes of older tragic writings, on the other hand, Ahab suffers from a mortal flaw that is not essentially inherent but rather it is as a result of injury, in his case both emotional and corporeal, caused by life in an unsympathetic world. He is as much a sufferer as he is an antagonist, and the figurative conflict that he creates connecting himself and Moby Dick drives him toward what he deems a predestined ending (Chase 1980,pp.56).
Ishmael initiates the novel in the opening chapter drifting through Manhattan in the bleakness of November with gloomy thoughts suggestive of nearly suicidal predisposition: pausing in front of coffin houses and following memorial services. His chief reason for going to a maritime profession, he puts forward, is to getaway from this depressive sequence and fixation with death. Ishmael has a tendency to worry and think his way through stuff, going so far as to depict himself as a thinker in The Mast-Head.
Ishmael, while ostensibly rejecting the arts, does own up that he is -- or at any rate was at one time -- a poet (Pirner 2007, pp 17). He appears to be a self-taught Renaissance man, excellent at all things yet devoted to nothing. Given the mythic, dreamy characteristics of Moby-Dick, it is conceivably proper that its storyteller ought to be a mystery: not everything in a narrative so reliant on destiny and the apparently mystical needs to make perfect logic.
According to Sealts and Olson (1997, pp.43) Ishmael is a character that Melville builds up as a man who is essentially what everybody should look up to. Though he has suicidal thoughts at the beginning of the novel he transforms by boarding the ship in order that he may live suicidal thoughts behind. The fact that he has changed his life in order to go to the sea to change his life makes it hard for the author to destroy him as he acquires the status of a reformed man. From his digression on a variety of subjects it is clear that the was at on e time a teacher. Thus Ishmael is the man of learning, gentility and refinement in the novel. Ishmael stands for the good that should be in society. It is therefore inconceivable that such a man should perish with the rest of the Pequods crew.
Queequeg is an indigene of an imaginary island in the South Pacific Ocean named Kokovoko. The isle is the residence to his primitive ethnic group, who carry out cannibalism, in particular eating the flesh of foes killed in combat. Queequeg declares that the single case of digestive disorder he has suffered was after a banquet in which fifty killed opponents were devoured. He shows no embarrassment concerning the observation, depicting his people in a matter-of-fact manner. In port he has a preference for rare red meat, but will take anything that is on the bill of fare, for instance clam chowder -- which is expressed as "his choice fishing fare"(Melville, 2006, pp13).
Initially rejected by the whaler that docked on his isle, he adeptly leapt from a canoe and held firmly to the side of the boat as it was exiting for the ocean, at which time the captain gave in. By his character of not giving up and being headstrong he joins the whaling expedition where he meets Ishmael and ultimately the joining of the Pequod. It is Ishmael who persuades him, founded on their closeness, to vessel on a different whaling voyage with him (Kelley, 2006, pp 43).
At the instance of the narrative, he has been absent from his home islet for several years, so long that it is likely that his father is deceased and that he would happen to be chief if he went back. The writer attributes his easy going impulsive character and his religiousness for his fate of dying on the Pequod as when Ishmael tells him that they should board the Pequod he does not ask any questions he simply follows Ishmael's lead and advice from his God.