For several days after leaving Nantucket, nothing above hatches was seen of Captain Ahab
. The mates regularly relieved each other at the watches, and for aught that could be seen to the contrary, they seemed to be the only commanders of the ship; only they sometimes issued from the cabin with orders so sudden and peremptory, that after all it was plain they but commanded vicariously.
I fear not thy epidemic, man, said Ahab from the bulwarks to Captain Mayhew, who stood in the boat's stern; come on board.
Mayhew having concluded his narration, Ahab put such questions to him, that the stranger captain could not forbear inquiring whether he intended to hunt the White Whale, if opportunity should offer.
universalizing of the Ahab figures is the fundamental change in plot.
Moby-Dick only protagonist Ahab is driven by the lust for power, and his
hand, Starbuck's conflict with Ahab over what Ahab ought to do and,
The permanent constitutional condition of the manufactured man, thought Ahab, is sordidness.
118) of Ahab's disdain for supra-terrestrial guidance.
The Ahabian analogue is all too conspicuous with regard to Ahab's having abandoned guidance above or beyond "level dead-reckoning" (Melville 501).
A no-way-out or a one-impossible-way-out situation seems to best descrie in short Ahab's condition, something like the feeling of being "buried above ground" (in his special case: "drowned above water") that Kay Redfield Jamison explores, which is capable of triggering a death wish.
Ahab's symptoms are mixed, and in synthesis can be formulated thus (we follow here mainly the descriptions of general symptomatology in Jamison 1999: 104-122; and Dobbert 2007):
Considered as a major symptom in Ahab, this is the main root of his "eccentricities of behavior," the latter being an essential part in the symptomatology of the schizotypal personality disorder; the APA includes as components of this disorder the following (cf.