The moral ambiguity of the universe is prevalent throughout Melvilles Moby Dick. None of the characters represent pure evil or pure goodness. The final moments of Moby Dick bring the novel to a terse, abrupt climax. The mutual destruction of the Pequod and the White Whale, followed by Ishmaels epilogue occupies approximately half a dozen pages. Despite Melvilles previous tendency to methodically detail every aspect of whaling life, he assumes a concise, almost journalistic approach in the climax.
Good and Evil in Moby Dick
Hero or Villain? Constructing Captain Ahab's Identity - GRIN
Like the heroes of Greek or Shakespearean tragedy, Ahab suffers from a single fatal flaw, one he shares with such legendary characters as Oedipus and Faust. His tremendous overconfidence, or hubris, leads him to defy common sense and believe that, like a god, he can enact his will and remain immune to the forces of nature. He considers Moby Dick the embodiment of evil in the world, and he pursues the White Whale monomaniacally because he believes it his inescapable fate to destroy this evil. According to the critic M. Unlike the heroes of older tragic works, however, Ahab suffers from a fatal flaw that is not necessarily inborn but instead stems from damage, in his case both psychological and physical, inflicted by life in a harsh world.
Good and Evil Moby Dick
In order to prove to his village that he was still useful, he had to catch the marlin and bring it back to them. The size of the marlin also shows the extent of his pride. Moreover, the marlin symbolizes Christ.
Herein lies a greater moral ambiguity than is previously suggested. Although Ishmael is the sole survivor of the Pequod, it is notable that in his own way, Ahab fulfills his desire for revenge by ensuring the destruction of the White Whale alongside his own death. The reader is then left with the possibility of assigning symbolic relations between the characters.