Billy Budd is proud to be a new sailor aboard the H.M.S. Indomitable. Nevertheless, Billy's strength, confidence, and ability threaten the evil Master-at-arms, John Claggart. Claggart takes it upon himself to have his lackeys torment Billy. When this effort fails, Claggart goes to Captain Vere and accuses Billy of organizing a mutiny. While Vere does not believe Claggart, he is forced to call Billy in to face his accuser. Unable to speak due to his shock, Billy simply punches Claggart in the face, killing him. To the dismay of the crew and many officers, Billy is hanged for the crime.