Billy Budd is about a sailor's life onboard a man-of-war under strict martial laws. The reader may find the code of conduct overly harsh, but discipline onboard a warship is paramount to the readiness and survival of the ship and her crew. What makes Billy Budd a great book is the clear demarcation between good and evil. The Master-at-arms Claggart and the Handsome Sailor Billy are on a collision course because Claggart is everything that is evil and Billy is everything that is good. Another prevailing classical theme is the nature of justice. Like the book of Job in the Bible, this novel shows that life is not always fair. Even the innocent and righteous are made to suffer unjustly.