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Image representing pirate in suit with gun and saber sitting on barrel. Source: Fotokvadrat/Adobe Stock

What the Media Gets Right About Pirates (Video)

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Within the realm of pirate lore depicted in media, there exists a delicate balance between fiction and historical accuracy. Notably, Howard Pyle's evocative paintings stand as vivid portrayals of the attire and demeanor of pirates during the late 19th century. His portrayal of figures like Captain Thomas Tew captures intricate details, down to the kerchiefs, hats, and sashes commonly worn by Caribbean gentlemen of the era.

Similarly, iconic literary works such as "Treasure Island" and "Captain Blood" weave historical events like mutinies and treasure hunts into their narratives, drawing inspiration from genuine pirate exploits while embellishing them for dramatic effect. Even blockbuster franchises like "Pirates of the Caribbean" infuse elements of reality, incorporating practices like branding and scars indicative of the harsh maritime lifestyle.

While some productions, like the TV series "Black Sails," strive for authenticity in depicting pirate power dynamics, others like "Assassin's Creed IV" take creative liberties within historically inspired settings. Despite variations in accuracy, these portrayals serve as captivating windows into the tumultuous world of piracy, offering audiences immersive experiences that blend fact with fiction in equal measure.

Top image: Image representing pirate in suit with gun and saber sitting on barrel. Source: Fotokvadrat/Adobe Stock      

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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