The action of Billy Budd is set within the claustrophobic confines of a British man-of-war ship in the mutiny shadowed summer of 1797. Here, cramped between decks, live the crew of HMS Indomitable, many of them pressed into service against their will, and all bound by the Royal Navy’s iron discipline. The innocent and handsome Billy Budd, however, enjoys naval life. Claggart the evil master-at-arms, loathes such cheerful innocence and, setting out to entrap and ruin the young sailor, accuses him of mutiny. From this false charge springs a naval tragedy.