At the end, Claggart accuses Billy falsely to Captain Vere that he together with other impressed seamen are planning an uprising. This accusation surprises Vere who sees Billy as a ship’s asset. All the same, Vere orders Albert, the captain’s hammock boy to bring Billy to the captain’s cabin for summoning. Billy listens to Claggart’s accusations and gets emotional as usual lacking words to defend himself.
He becomes desperate and wants to save his reputation but cannot utter even a single word (Yannella 117). He responds by striking Claggart on the forehead and is later confirmed dead by the ship’s surgeon. Vere says, “Struck dead by an angel of God! —- Yet the angel must hang!” (Melville 81) insinuating that irrespective of the surrounding circumstances, the judgment is hang.