What is it about pirates?
In general, pirates are a dirty, smelly, murderous bunch of thieves, but yet we find them most appealing. Perhaps it is the Hollywood treatment or pirates that has made them so dear to our hearts. I have no doubt that if we were to happen upon the real Blackbeard, we might not be so willing to accept his faults and share a glass of mead with him.
The real Blackbeard
Edward Thatch (or Teach) was the scourge of the Caribbean for a relatively short time. Earning the name Blackbeard because of his abundant facial hair, Thatch began his life as a pirate around the year 1713 and over the next few years he captured over 50 ships. He and his men were given pardons by the Governor of North Carolina in 1718, but continued pirating ships. Later that year he was killed in a fight with the North Carolina Royal Navy contingent.
Captain Blood 1935
Errol Flynn is Captain Blood, a doctor turned pirate in the vein of Robin Hood. The movie has a lot of swash and buckle, along with love interest Olivia DeHavilland and friend turned foe Basil Rathbone.
Cartoon pirate, Captain Hook is the nemesis of children's hero Peter Pan. Captain of the Jolly Roger, he terrorizes Neverland harbor and rules over Pirate cove with an iron (hooked) hand with boatswain, Smee.
Peter Pan 1953
The Black Swan
Former pirate Captain Jamie Waring kidnaps Lady Margaret Denby, played by Maureen O'Hara, to help former pirate pal, Sir Henry Morgan, keep his position as governor of Jamaica in 1674. The Black Swan is a love story infused with villiany and deeds of daring.
The race is on as female pirate Morgan Adams, played by Geena Davis, searches for treasure on a hidden island. A partial map to the island was given to Adams by her dying father along with a pirate ship. Adams must find the other two parts of the map before her enemies do in order to secure the treasure.
Long John Silver
Robert Lewis Stevenson's Long John Silver set the model for the stereotypical pirate that we all know and love today. He had a parrot companion who perched on his shoulder and was missing a leg. The story has him befriending young boy Jim Hawkins, but he is slowly revealed to be a scoundrel whose only interest is his own survival by whatever means necessary.
Sir Henry Morgan
Sir Henry Morgan's pirating was done in the name of England. Appointed governor of Jamaica, he fought the Spaniards for his homeland, keeping all that he plundered as his payment.
Johnny Depp created the memorable character of Jack Sparrow in the Pirate of the Caribbean movies. Using The Rolling Stone's Keith Richards for inspiration, Depp's Sparrow is a charismatic pirate with a heart.
The cursed captain of the Black Pearl, Captain Barbossa kidnaps Elizabeth Swann, who has the last piece of Aztec gold which will break the curse.
Captain William Kidd started out his career as a privateer for England, but greed quickly led him to the life of a pirate. He was hired by the Royal Governor of Massachusetts to find and kill Blackbeard, but the mission failed. Kidd never admitted to being a pirate, even though he was tried and hung for it in 1701.
ruffridyer from Dayton, ohio on October 27, 2011:
I wonder if Captain hook was a pedophilia. Always chasing Lost Boys instead of treasure.
I also wondered why people feared Long John Silver. All you had to do was take away his crutch and he'd be helpless.
I prefered Steve Reeves Henry Morgan, much more masculine than Larid Cregor.
abbie molloy on January 13, 2011:
thanks for u help
lafenty (author) from California on February 04, 2010:
thanks for commenting, Scorpion123
scorpion123 on February 04, 2010:
nice hub really liked it
lafenty (author) from California on June 07, 2009:
Thanks for your comment Donna. I will have to research those lady pirates and add them to my hub. Blackbeard does seem to have made the most lasting impression as far as real pirates go.
Donna Campbell Smith from Central North Carolina on June 07, 2009:
It was a thin line between privateer and pirate in those days. My favorites are the "ladies" Mary Read and Anne Bonny. Black Beard's ghost still lurks in the backwaters of North Carolina, and still contributes to our state's coffers through tourist dollars!