Vere is distressed, and the two of them prop the body upright. The navy continues to depend on impressments, or forced conscriptions, to fill its rosters. The novella finishes with a song composed by one of the sailors from Billy's watch. In an attempt to soothe them, Vere suggests that Billy himself would take pity on them if he knew what conflict they were in. One night, an anonymous figure rouses Billy from his sleep on the upper deck and asks him to meet in a remote quarter of the ship.
When they seem to be deadlocked, unable to make a decision, Vere steps forward to declare his conviction that the rule of law must supersede the reservations of conscience. The lieutenant wanting to convict but not punish seeks a loophole that would allow honoring justice while also recognizing the facts of the individual before the court. When he tells him that he means Billy Budd, the captain doesn't believe him. Billy remains rather silent during his period of questioning, admitting to the blow but maintaining his innocence of intention and declaring his lack of affiliation with any potential mutiny. Billy is a wonderful sailor. After Typee he continued to write popular novels depicting life at sea, such as Omoo and White-Jacket, and, after marrying in 1847, settled down in New York and then in Massachusetts.
What he cannot have is not merely Billy's physical body, but the foretopman's innocence and purity. The instigator of the flogging and of seemingly other unprovoked brutality is the ship's Master at Arms, John Claggart Robert Ryan. The sun rises on his body framed by the mast and the yardarm Some men think that he seemed to die before the noose tightened. In the course of battle a piece of the ship's rigging falls on Vere, killing him. Unjust as the situation is, Billy is going to hang. The suspense, though, results from the predicament of Captain Vere.
He takes Billy and Claggart into a room and makes Claggart accuse Billy to his face. In the gazette article, William Budd is a seaman but a conspiring mutineer probably of foreign birth and mysterious antecedents who, when confronted by the honest John Claggart, the master-at-arms loyally enforcing the law on board one of His Majesty's ships, stabs Claggart to the heart, killing him. He tells the Dansker, who believes that Claggart is behind some kind of set-up. Abandoning this effort, Vere dismisses Billy to a neighboring stateroom until further notice. Vere, functioning as the main witness, gives a testimony of the relevant events to the jury. The plot reaches a turning point when a jealous crewmate falsely accuses Billy Bud of a conspiracy to mutiny.
The court ultimately sentences Billy to execution. However, his charismatic naivete seems to bother Claggert, whose perverse depravity makes him resent Billy's good-natured purity, especially after the teenager's promotion to fore-top Captain. He calls a drumhead court made up of an officer of marines, a sea lieutenant, and a sailing master. Finally, the master-at-arms goes to Captain Vere and says that Billy is behind a mutiny plot. Bellipotent is picking men for the ship's next expedition. The court wants to know why Claggart disliked Billy in the first place, but he has no idea.
Claggart is the archetypal fallen angel, a man who has abandoned his goodness for ego, and, knowing this, i. Right now, there is only the fact that Claggart is dead and Billy did it. What's more, the provisions of the code under which they operate are clear: a crewman has slain an officer, and that crewman must die. His literary career and popularity declined, but Melville continued to write, including Billy Budd. But he also draws the attention of the master-at-arms, John Claggart. He sees the afterguard in the light of day, and he's nothing but friendly. Deeply affected by the American Civil War, Melville also turned to writing poetry, though his poems, like his later novels, were also not highly regarded by his contemporaries.
Although Claggart has no reason to implicate Budd in the conspiracy, Budd becomes a target because Billy represents everything that Claggart despises: humility, innocence, and trust in humanity. No one knows where Claggart came from, but like Billy, he looks too noble and strong to be stuck aboard a ship. Captain Vere and his court are troubled and conflicted, forced to decide between maritime law, which would call for Billy's execution, and their personal moral scruples and fondness for Billy. In the morning, Billy appears on the deck ready to be hanged with the entire crew gathered round. The narrator apologizes that he cannot offer a nice or symmetrical ending to his story, as is found in fictional tales, because he is giving a true account of actual events. The blow proves forceful enough to knock Claggart unconscious, and he lies bleeding from the nose and ears as Billy and Vere attempt to revive him.
His sea travels and experiences with Polynesian natives greatly influenced his writing, especially his popular book Typee, based on his experiences with some natives of the Pacific isles. Claggart is also thought of as the Biblical. Some time afterward, Vere is fatally wounded in battle. He is confused by the incident and again asks the Dansker for advice. Conclusion The Remembering of Billy Budd The story closes with three distinct memories of Billy Budd.