Pirates of the Carribean

  By Rider, 29 April 2007; Revised
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Pirates of the Carribean is a movie that restarted the pirate-genre. It was an extremely catching movie. Taking place in a 18th century Carribean region – on seas and land alike, you’ll find yourself in a nice adventure. Jack Sparrow is going to lead you through a nice adventure and I am sure you’ll like it too. Although I am sure that everyone knows that sceletal beings and whatever-such-critters aren’t a part of history, a large part of that movie still was...


Pirating in General

Pirates were popolous in the new oceans during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. It is also true that governments were more and more efficient in hunting down those very same pirates. Quite a large number of these got privateer papers which allowed them to destroy the states’ enemies’ ships. These practices were especially common in England.

"We're going to steal a ship? That ship? -- Commandeer. We're going to commandeer that ship. Nautical term. "
-- Will Turner and Jack Sparrow

There were a few notorious pirates (Henry Morgan, who was also named in the movie as the creator of the Pirate’s Code). Although Morgan got the privateers’ license as well, why I brought him up here is of another thing. Morgan, like other people like him, was known for taking over a few enemy ships. These practices were obviously more a cause of the regular navies than pirates but both are known issues. In these cases it was a tradition to leave the crew intact unless it wished otherwise. Hostile enemies might have wished to rather sink their ship to allow it be caught in enemy’s hands. Such a sight is supposedly seen in the beginning of the movie. ’Walk the plank’ was a tradition also seen in the movie.


Duels on Land

There are quite a few intriguing scenes, where people fight with swords. That part of the movie is nicely depicted. The duels of the 17th and 18th century were already those ’gentleman-like’ fights depicted in the ’Count of Monte Cristo’ and in some novels of Sir Scott. The ancient broadsword swinging was long gone, blades were curved and slim. We find their value out already in the beginning where Jack Sparrow and Will Turner engage in a minutes long duel. Another of these fine and interesting issues is when Jack Sparrow duels Capt’n Barbossa. I find these instances very well depicted, a trend that continues on in the second movie as well.


Sea Battle

The Interceptor vs the Black Pearl. An intriguing sight, but the loss was certain. A beautiful sight too. Ms. Swann brings up a good idea to go to the shallows but that’s not in time. Then the Interceptor makes a sudden anchoring and almost a 180 degrees turn back towards the Pearl to give ’er a full broadside. Unfortunately, she is short of ammo. The boarding of Interceptor by the cursed ones is again a truthful sight and the ensuing battle such too.


The Curse

The Curse itself seems to have been invented by the creators of this movie but seeing it make such a wonderful episode, I don’t claim it a bad idea. The story behind it sounds like Cortez after all.

"This is Aztec gold. One of 882 identical pieces they delivered in a stone chest to Cortez himself. Blood money paid to stem the slaughter he wreaked upon them with his armies. But the greed of Cortez was insatiable. So the heathen gods placed upon the gold a terrible curse. Any mortal that removes but a piece from that stone chest shall be punished for eternity. "
-- Captain Barbossa



Jack Sparrow: Parleley, parlelellyleloooo, par le nee, partner, par... snip, parsley...
Ragetti: Parley?
Jack Sparrow: That's the one. Parley. Parley.
Pintel: Parley? Damn to the depths whatever man what thought of "Parley".
Jack Sparrow: That would be the French.

Parlay is a continuing theme through the movie, asked by many different people in different scenes. Jack noted that parlay was invented by the French. It seems that Jack took up that answer from the root of the word at the French verb ’parler’ (to speak). So, Jack was right once more. Parley was also a part of the Pirates’ code which is depicted on several occasions throughout the movie (see below).

The Code

Many occasions see characters speak of the code. Elizabeth mentions that it was set down by Morgan (Henry Morgan) and Bartholomew (Bartholomew Roberts). Such an united code never existed but several of the smaller groups or captains set down their own codes and instructions on what to do. It is mentioned on several occasions that the Code is more of a guideline than actual rules.

We see three parts of the code in the movie, these are the:

1) Parlay.

2) He who falls, behind is left behind.

3) Take what you want, give nothing back.



All in all, the Pirates of the Carribean is a fine movie with considerable historical support. The next two parts are as far as possible to tell, mostly as historical as these.