Throughout the novella, Billy Budd
is admiringly compared to various Christian figures. He is often described as similar to Adam, emphasizing his complete innocence and lack of experience with the civilized, corrupt world. However, toward the end of the narrative, he is especially associated with Jesus Christ. He accepts his execution peacefully, and seems so at ease with his fate that the chaplain
has no spiritual advice to give him. The mystical morning light that illuminates his body as it is hanged also paints Billy as a holy martyr. And in the days after Billy's death, the narrator notes that the sailors of the Indomitable treat the spar from which he was hanged as a special relic like the cross of Christ's crucifixion. All of this Christian imagery characterizes Billy as a martyr and emphasizes his innocence and good moral nature. Moreover, the idea of martyrdom and the association of Billy with Jesus underlines Billy's death as a sacrifice of individuality for a larger community, just as Jesus gave his own life for the benefit of all mankind.