Billy Budd, by Herman Melville is an allegory; because the characters represent abstract qualities. Billy Budd represents Jesus Christ, Captain Vere represents God, and John Claggart represents Lucifer. In the movie, John Claggart tries to destroy Billy Budd because he is jealous of Billy's reputation after being promoted to foretop, and his acceptance among the crew. There is also a conflict involving Captain Vere when he is forced to decide on the fate of Billy Budd after he kills Claggart.
The experiences that Billy Budd undergoes throughout the movie, is parallel to what Jesus Christ endured in his life. Billy Budd was an innocent man physically and mentally. The first things the sailors noticed about him were his schoolboy features, with blond hair and blue eyes, and many of the sailors referred to him as "The handsome sailor." Most of the time the sailors were scurvy men, quite often with diseases, who made no effort to uphold a handsome appearance. The characteristics verify Billy's innocent nature, just as Jesus Christ held the same innocent disposition. After Billy was captured from the Rights of Man, by impressment, he showed no remorse toward his old captain and shipmates for not protecting him. Although he was stolen from another ship, he still follows whoever is the leader. Billy's innocence can be seen in one particular scene with Claggart. Billy accidentally spills his soup and Claggart exclaims with heavy sarcasm," Handsomely done! And Handsome is as handsome did it too." Claggart was glad that he had spilled it, because he wanted Jenkins to clean it up, since he was sick. Billy didn't understand why Claggart was having Jenkins clean it up when he was the one that spilled it. The similarities between Christ and Billy include their demises. Jesus Christ supposedly said that he was the King of the Jews. Then he was tried and convicted of treason, although he was falsely accused.