Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Blackbeard

Focusing so much on legendary creatures and monsters, I sometimes forget about the other types of legends, such as legends around historical figures. As mentioned in previous posts, sometimes the legends take on a life of their own, to where figures like Blood Mary no longer resemble the person the name was originally attributed to. But others have a story that seems perfectly plausible up until the very end. Take the story of Edward Teach, otherwise known as Blackbeard, for example:

Larger than life, he went into battle with something like six pistols, a sword, and a dagger, while having flaming wicks stuffed under his cap. During his final battle, with Maynard and his crew, Blackbeard continued to fight until he collapsed from blood loss. They cut of his head, and threw the body overboard. But, before sinking his body swam around the boat three times.

We all know it’s not possible, the body was already dead before they threw it in the ocean, yet that part of the story constantly gets repeated.

What does it get us? Does it make the story more amusing? Does it symbolize Blackbeard’s willpower, his drive to survive? Or perhaps it highlights his seemingly evil nature?

Furthermore, we have Blackbeard’s castle.

 (Image used under Creative Commons, as uploaded to wikipedia by Niceley)

This fort, also called Skytsborg Tower, is located on St. Tomas USVI, and was a Danish lookout to keep watch for attacking ships. While tales exist that Blackbeard used this tower as well, it is not very likely...

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