“Yet the Angel Must Hang” reflects on the mood of moral skepticism that pervades Billy Budd. This article examines several predicaments left unresolved by the end of the novel, including the narrator's ruminations on inherent conflicts within human nature, and his lamentations about the loss of spiritual wisdom among learned men of his generation. The story's defining collision between law and moral principle is analyzed with references to dilemmas confronting American judges during the antebellum period.

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