Types of Piracies in the Real and Fictional Worlds

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Depiction of pirate lifestyles in the films and games has enhanced people’s interest in understanding the act of piracy. The interest has reached the extent that people started wearing the pirate clothing as a fashion trend. Interestingly, we find different types of piracies in the in the real as well as fantastical worlds. We can divide the types of the piracies in two categories, i.e., real and fictional. In the real world, the types of piracies are based on the motives and the time spans. On the other hand, the fictional world depicts it for the purpose of entertainment, so there may be many purposes of raiding.

Real Piracy

Piracy can be counted in two types in the real world – piracy and privateering.

  • Piracy: In the medieval times, there were a number of raiders active in the places like Caribbean Sea Mediterranean Sea and China etc. The purpose of the mainstream pirates was to loot the treasure ships for their personal interests. There were both male and female pirates in the history of piracy. Blackbeard, Mary Read, Calico Jack, Anne Bonny, Black Bart, Grace O’Malley, Ching Shih and Cheung Po Tsai etc. were some for the famous freebooters from various parts of the world. In the modern times also, the piracy is going on in areas like Somalia and Sumatra.
  • Privateering: Unlike the typical piracy, the purpose of the privateering was to provide the benefit to the state. The privateers were the authorized pirates of the governments. The task was assigned to them to loot the treasure ships of the enemy nations. In England, “letter of marquee” was issued to some officers to provide them the authority of privateering. Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh were two famous English privateers, whose names we can take as examples. Similar letters were issued to some people in some other countries also. In some of the nations, the corsairs were active, who were also the privateers with a different title. Interestingly, the pirate shirts, pants and other outfits of the privateers are also popular in the pirate fashion industry of the recent times.


Fictional Piracy

Fictional piracy is that, which we find in the films, games and novels. The name of Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean film series is popular throughout the world. His purpose is not alone to attack ships, but he also makes the people laugh with his activities. Besides, some of the pirate crews of the stories take the mission to help people. For instance, in Gideon Defoe’s novel “The Pirate! in an Adventure with Scientists” and  an animation film with the same name base on the novel, we find that the freebooters help young Charles Darwin to take him back to home and defeat his enemies. On the other hand, in another animation film named “Sinbad! Legend of the Seven Seas”, the purpose of the pirate crew is the steal the mystical and magical “Book of Peace”. Interestingly, the raiders do not loot the treasure from other ships. There may be many other types of fictional piracies if we explore the literature and the films. These fictional piracies are also undoubtedly the subject of enthusiasm.

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