A trickster, in mythology and folklore, was a god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphic animal who played tricks or otherwise disobeyed normal rules and conventional behavior. Operating outside the framework of right and wrong, tricksters did not recognize the rules of society. Often childish, greedy, lustful, and even nasty, tricksters could also be friendly, helpful, clever, and wise. Sometimes they appeared to be clownish, clumsy, or foolish, although they usually possessed amazing powers of survival.
The legendary pirate Captain Jack Sparrow was known to be the irreverent trickster of the Caribbean, using wit and deceit to attain his goals. Jack was referred to as a trickster by Blackbeard. Hector Barbossa was also a trickster, having matched with Jack Sparrow.
Behind the scenes
- During the making of The Curse of the Black Pearl, there were conversations between director Gore Verbinski and writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio where they decided to make Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa two sides of the same trickster. As stated by Ted Elliott in the film's audio commentary:
- This introduction of Barbossa actually matches the one of Jack. Jack is in the light, Barbossa's in the dark, but they're both standing above everything else. One of those odd things...that came out of conversations between Terry and Gore and I is Terry and I are big fans of Sergio Leone westerns. They take western conventions and add this air of mythology. Some of the characters in the Leone westerns are basically gods. They are more than just mere mortals. They get involved in mortals' lives, but mostly the issues of the gods belong to the gods. That idea is actually played out with Jack and Barbossa. They are the light and dark of the same trickster archetype. Again, here is basically Barbossa...The thing with the vocabulary and not understanding, you could see that being something Jack would do. The deal he makes, the loopholes he finds...They are paired in that way. One is the light side of this trickster and the other is the dark side of the trickster.
- While Barbossa's status as a trickster has not been stated regarding further installments, Jack Sparrow was continuously referred to as a trickster. Both writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio referred to Jack as a trickster; Jack was called a trickster by Blackbeard in On Stranger Tides; he was also said to be the "irreverent trickster of the Caribbean" in Jack's character description for the film.
Notes and references
- ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ New Stills Feature Queen Anne’s Revenge, Character Descriptions
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- The Curse of the Black Pearl Audio Commentary with Screenwriters Stuart Beattie, Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and Jay Wolpert
- Interview: Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio on Pirates of the Caribbean
- Terry Rossio Interview PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4: ON STRANGER TIDES | Collider