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Quarterdeck scene from Moby Dick (1998)

by ebreilly

Students can learn a great deal about how leaders negotiate competing interests and expectations of their communities by studying how Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation) performs the quarterdeck scene in the TV version of Moby Dick. This version shows a consciousness of the factions that operate on the ship. Ahab's leadership emerges through the ways he unites these groups behind a common cause, forging close bonds between himself and his men. Often, Ahab has been portrayed as an aloof and distant leader who intimidates and dominates, whereas Stewart's version of Ahab emphasizes his desire for closeness with his crew, even as he wants to bond them to his personal pursuit of Moby Dick. Here are items to watch for as you examine the sequence: The scene opens with the introduction of Fedallah and his men who remain outside the Pequod community. Note the initial expression of discomfort from Flask and Stubb. Periodically throughout the scene, the camera shows Fedallah and his men standing apart, showing little emotional response to what is unfolding, even as the other divisions of the crew are being broken down. Ahab asks Flask, Stubb, and Starbuck to call the rest of the crew. Why doesn't he call them himself? First they call together the men who are already on deck and, only later, call the men down from the masts. What are the implications of this distinction? What is involved in pulling the men down from the masts? What are the potential costs of this action? We hear Stubb and Flask whispering about Ahab. What do they say? What has Ahab done that provokes this response? For more analysis, visit:

Quarterdeck Scene - Moby Dick (1998)

This is the quarterdeck scene from the 1998 TV movie version of 'Moby Dick', starring Patrick Stewart.

from Moby Dick (1998)
Creator: Franc Roddam
Posted by ebreilly