Vehemently pausing, he cried:— "What do ye do when ye see a whale, men?" "Sing out for him!" was the impulsive rejoinder from a score of clubbed voices. "Good!" cried Ahab, with a wild approval in his tones; observing the hearty animation into which his unexpected question had so magnetically thrown them. "And what do ye next, men?" "Lower away, and after him!" "And what tune is it ye pull to, men?" "A dead whale or a stove boat!" More and more strangely and fiercely glad and approving, grew the countenance of the old man at every shout; while the mariners began to gaze curiously at each other, as if marvelling how it was that they themselves became so excited at such seemingly purposeless questions.
Ahab nails the ounce of Quito gold to the mast. At the website where I got the picture above, a smaller prize is offered for answers to the following questions, which I imagine the infallible Google could readily supply to those with adequate Google-fu.
Within the last five years, a fragment of a sentence from Melville’s Moby-Dick, or the Whale (1851) was used as the title of an original song in the musical soundtrack of a celebrated (and polarizing) American film. The Challenge 1.Identify and name the song/six words from the novel. 2.Identify and name the chapter of the novel in which the words appear. 3.Identify and name the film in which the song appears and the year of its release. 4.Identify and name the musician who scored the film.
No prizes here except eternal glory.
Receiving the top-maul from Starbuck, he advanced towards the main-mast with the hammer uplifted in one hand, exhibiting the gold with the other, and with a high raised voice exclaiming: "Whosoever of ye raises me a white-headed whale with a wrinkled brow and a crooked jaw; whosoever of ye raises me that white-headed whale, with three holes punctured in his starboard fluke—look ye, whosoever of ye raises me that same white whale, he shall have this gold ounce, my boys!" "Huzza! huzza!" cried the seamen, as with swinging tarpaulins they hailed the act of nailing the gold to the mast. "It's a white whale, I say," resumed Ahab, as he threw down the topmaul: "a white whale. Skin your eyes for him, men; look sharp for white water; if ye see but a bubble, sing out."
And then, the first mention in the book of the eponym, the infamous, the terrible dread
"Captain Ahab," said Tashtego, "that white whale must be the same that some call Moby Dick."
And now the descriptions start thick and fast from the harpooneers
"And he have one, two, three—oh! good many iron in him hide, too, Captain," cried Queequeg disjointedly, "all twiske-tee be-twisk, like him—him—" faltering hard for a word, and screwing his hand round and round as though uncorking a bottle—"like him—him—" "Corkscrew!" cried Ahab, "aye, Queequeg, the harpoons lie all twisted and wrenched in him; aye, Daggoo, his spout is a big one, like a whole shock of wheat, and white as a pile of our Nantucket wool after the great annual sheep-shearing; aye, Tashtego, and he fan-tails like a split jib in a squall. Death and devils! men, it is Moby Dick ye have seen—Moby Dick—Moby Dick!"
And the psychological portrait of what Melville acutely diagnoses as monomania
with a terrific, loud, animal sob, like that of a heart-stricken moose; "Aye, aye! it was that accursed white whale that razeed me; made a poor pegging lubber of me for ever and a day!" Then tossing both arms, with measureless imprecations he shouted out: "Aye, aye! and I'll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition's flames before I give him up. And this is what ye have shipped for, men! to chase that white whale on both sides of land, and over all sides of earth, till he spouts black blood and rolls fin out. What say ye, men, will ye splice hands on it, now? I think ye do look brave."
But Starbuck poops the party
"I am game for his crooked jaw, and for the jaws of Death too, Captain Ahab, if it fairly comes in the way of the business we follow; but I came here to hunt whales, not my commander's vengeance. How many barrels will thy vengeance yield thee even if thou gettest it, Captain Ahab? it will not fetch thee much in our Nantucket market."
Such practical concerns are as naught to the driven captain, who responds
Stand up amid the general hurricane, thy one tost sapling cannot, Starbuck!
Realizing he is on a ship of fools
"God keep me!—keep us all!" murmured Starbuck, lowly.
And then the strange ritual of the full pewter before the crossed lances, as Ahab forces the solemn oath,
he brimmed the harpoon sockets with the fiery waters from the pewter. "Now, three to three, ye stand. Commend the murderous chalices! Bestow them, ye who are now made parties to this indissoluble league. Ha! Starbuck! but the deed is done! Yon ratifying sun now waits to sit upon it. Drink, ye harpooneers! drink and swear, ye men that man the deathful whaleboat's bow—Death to Moby Dick! God hunt us all, if we do not hunt Moby Dick to his death!"
A blog suggests this great, theatrical, melodramatic scene is somewhat reminiscent, (I would say as tragic farce), of Jacques-Louis David's painting Oath of the Horatii:
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Re: Moby Dick Chapter 36 The Quarter Deck - Enter Ahab Then All
Brilliant chapter. The mates knew what they were doing was crazy but went along with it - but they refused to be cup bearers to the pagans. What drives Ahab? Why the monomania - has it something to do with the young wife and child he has left behind?
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