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11 February 2006 @ 04:32 pm
PotC: Barbossa & Elizabeth.  
As I promised, here is my take on Barbossa/Elizabeth from "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl." :) But, before you read any of this, please read the excellent Captain Barbossa Character Analysis by Katherine Judd (a.k.a. Brianna) - it will give you really good insight into his character, and it will certainly make it easier for you to read and understand this entry. Unfortunately, there is no decent character analysis available on Elizabeth Swann, but I will provide a few insights about her in my own analysis. :)

Created by grangersnape (me!)

I loved the 2002 film "Pirates of the Caribbean" from the moment I first watched it. One of the first things that struck me as I watched the film, was the subtext and chemistry between Captain Barbossa and Elizabeth Swann, played by Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley. I believe there definitely was a mutual attraction, though carefully masked by both - especially by Elizabeth, while Barbossa was a bit more obvious about it, being a pirate and a man of the world. To me, he seems to be a man who appreciates strong women with a good bit of fire in them; something he recognised and admired in Elizabeth.
Elizabeth, on the other hand, is not your average lady from high society, since she has an adventurous, rebellious and stubborn streak - but as such traits were definitely not appreciated (or encouraged) in high class ladies from that era, she probably felt like she couldn't completely be herself, as she had to hide that 'unladylike' part of her. She had been pushed into a straitjacket all her life, and must have felt like she was (mentally) suffocating at some point - very much like Rose DeWitt Bukater from James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster "Titanic." Keira Knightley says in a special feature on the DVD ("An Epic At Sea" -> "The Actors") that Elizabeth is "a modern girl stuck in the eighteenth-century-world", and that's true. Her character description on Wikipedia even says (very poignantly): "Elizabeth, in essence, has the propriety and breeding of a noble lady, but the wit and will of a pirate wench." Very true. So when she met Barbossa, she was intrigued by the mystery and possible danger/adventure that surrounded him. The captain was a real man, in opposition to the young and inexperienced Will Turner - and unlike Will and all the other people in her immediate, familiar environment, he didn't treat her as if she were a vulnerable china doll. Her treats her more like an equal (though not completely). This meant she could feel, and be, more like herself in his company - she could scream at him, insult him, physically hurt him, and so on: because Barbossa wouldn't reprimand her for unladylike behaviour. Rather, he would chuckle appreciatively of such behaviour, because he appreciates fiery women - and *real* women at that, no china dolls.

All that led me to conclude that in the end, Barbossa was a more suitable man for Elizabeth than Will Turner could ever be: he would completely accept the real Elizabeth, and he could offer her a more adventurous life. Because you see, Elizabeth yearns to feel truly alive: as such, she desires an adventurous and never dull existence - one completely opposite from the one she grew up in. She doesn't want to wake up one day and discover that she had spent the rest of her life in some kind of trance, because she lived up to all of society's expectations for a lady such as herself. So, in the end, Barbossa can give her more, *stimulate* her more, than Will ever could. Ofcourse she is in love with the young man, but I think it's more some kind of naive puppy love (especially at her and Will's age - I surmise both to be in their very early twenties) than true, everlasting love; and she would grow tired of him rather quickly. Her fiery and rebellious character makes her prefer men with a certain sense of mischief ('bad boys'), instead of boring, predictable men. She wants to have the real thing (a *real* man, one who is confident, experienced and intelligent), and that is something that she could (possibly) have with Barbossa. That's just my opinion, ofcourse - feel free to disagree - but hopefully you now have an inkling to why *I* can see this 'ship happening. :)

Now, I would like to run through all the relevant Barbossa/Elizabeth scenes in the film with you. The description of each scene is coloured in dark purple, and my notes on each scene are coloured in a lighter shade of purple. :)

1. Aboard the Black Pearl. This is the scene in which we first encounter Captain Barbossa.

In this scene, we see how Elizabeth is being rowed to the Black Pearl after she - in an attempt to save her own life - invoked the right of parley and insisted that the pirates Pintel and Ragetti take her to their captain. As she nears the ship, we can tell by the look on her face that she recognises the ship, having seen it eight years previously. Elizabeth does not seem to be frightened out of her wits; a bit anxious at most, but we can see her wondering whether she had made the right decision by invoking the right of parley.

The moment she sets foot aboard the ship, Elizabeth notices that a tall, imposing man is standing rigidly on the poop deck. From where she stands, she cannot see him clearly, but she immediately knows that he is the captain of this pirate ship. We can tell that this first shot of Barbossa was meant to portray the mystery surrounding him. For he certainly is mysterious, because we hardly know anything about this man's history - and this will remain so throughout the whole film. Elizabeth certainly is captivated by the mystery surrounding him - not least because he is a pirate (and we all know that she has been vaguely fascinated by pirates ever since she was still a little girl) - because she stood still the very moment she saw him. She continues to study him from a distance, until an impatient Pintel grabs her by the arm, as he is not a man who tolerates dawdling. He drags her with him, intending to take her to Barbossa, but he immediately halts when the boatswain addresses him. "I didn't know we was takin' on captives," says the boatswain, and Pintel then explains Elizabeth's presence to him. Elizabeth sees this as an opportunity to further explain why she is here, but she is backhanded by the boatswain, who warns her to speak only when she is being addressed.

Keep yer filthy paws off my woman!

"Keep yer filthy paws off my woman!"

Immediately after she has been slapped, Barbossa grabs the boatswain's arm and warns him menacingly that he is not to hurt a hair on her head again. As the captain, and therefore one who misses nothing of what happens aboard the ship, Barbossa must immediately have spotted Elizabeth when she was being helped aboard by Pintel and Ragetti. Curious to the reasons for this young woman's presence on his pirate ship, he immediately must have made his way towards her - and while he was doing so, he had obviously overheard what Pintel had told the boatswain. Barbossa apologises to Elizabeth for his boatswain's rude behaviour; while doing this, he has an appreciative and slightly benign look on his face. At this, one must wonder: in that day and age, pirates were not famous for their gentleness or civility, especially not to women. Why on earth would Barbossa apologise and be gentle to her, when he needn't to? At that moment, he doesn't know about Elizabeth possessing the pirate medaillon yet, so there apparently was no ulterior motive behind his friendliness. Perhaps it had something to do with his upbringing, during which he had been taught to treat a woman as she is ought to be treated. In any way, this display of gentleness from Barbossa is in stark contrast to what is said about him earlier in the film (after all, Mullroy said to Murtogg, after Jack Sparrow had mentioned the Black Pearl: "You've seen a ship with black sails, that's crewed by the damned and captained by a man so evil that Hell itself spat him back out?").

After Barbossa has apologised to her, Elizabeth addresses him, having learned his name when she listened to the conversation between Pintel and the boatswain. She unabashedly demands the cessation of hostilities against Port Royal, clearly believing in her inexperience and naivety that Barbossa is a reasonable man (and thus, we can say that she is generally more inclined to see the good in people rather than the bad). She is trying to appeal to his goodness, thinking that she might well reach an accord with him. But her hopes of this are soon crushed when Barbossa suddenly begins to show his sarcastic, fun-poking and slightly flirtatious side. This disappoints and angers Elizabeth; she then rips the medaillon off her neck, walks over to the railing and threatens to drop it into the sea. It is then that Barbossa first notices that she is in possession of the last coin of Aztec gold, and the expression on his face changes to a serious one. Barbossa wants to have it, and therefore, he has to think and act quickly. He doesn't want her to think that the medaillon is important to him: because once she knows that, she has power over him - and he doesn't want that. Unfortunately for him, Elizabeth is not a daft woman and sees through this, after which she pretends to drop it into the ocean. Barbossa and his crew take a step forward and shout "No!" when that happens, giving themselves away. Elizabeth has the nerve to smile at that, and Barbossa chuckles - he certainly appreciates intelligence, courage and fire in a woman, though he doesn't particularly fancy to be outfoxed in the presence of his crew. "You have a name, missy?" he asks, wanting to know who outdid him. Elizabeth, aware that Pintel and Ragetti didn't know (and still don't know) that she is the governor's daughter when they captured her (and thus neither Barbossa nor the rest of the crew know it), has no intention of telling Barbossa who she really is and thus making herself more vulnerable than she already is. She has to think fast, and introduces herself as Elizabeth Turner (she chose the surname of Will Turner, someone who doesn't have any important occupation - and thus, not in possession of a lot of money, so that there's nothing to gain for the pirates). Little does she know that that was the worst surname she could have given, for Barbossa and his crew are also looking for the child of William "Bootstrap Bill" Turner. There is a considerable chance that, had she given an other surname - say Brown - that Barbossa would have let her go, or have dropped her off at the next harbour or (inhabited) island. After all, there is nothing to be gained from her presence aboard at all: the pirates cannot feel or enjoy anything physically, so even raping her would have served no purpose.

Upon learning Elizabeth's name, Barbossa assumes that she is the child of Bootstrap Bill. She immediately falls in his esteem, because his behaviour towards her suddenly becomes more aloof and harsh. Perhaps she reminds him of what he had done to Bootstrap Bill ten years ago (and thus he's irritated, because he doesn't like to think back to that mistake), who knows. Barbossa convinces Elizabeth that he and his crew will never return to Port Royal again if she hands the medaillon over to him - he does this calmly and without any sign of agression. Barbossa seems to prefer to avoid violence whenever it can be avoided (at least where women are concerned), because he could have taken the medaillon from her by force if he wished. And yet he didn't.
When Elizabeth gives the medaillon to him, there's a bit of a hard look on his face, his eyes boring into hers. He continues to look at her in that way when he gives the medaillon to the monkey (who obediently takes it to a safe and guarded place), and it's only when he turns around and wordlessly carries out his orders to the boatswain that his eyes leave hers. He walks away with a hard look on his face, and here he certainly seems a bit ticked off. Elizabeth follows him, demanding to know what happened to their bargain. Barbossa turns around swiftly, and he unforbiddingly points out the loopholes she had left in their bargain, after which he climbs the stairs to the poop deck. Pintel and Ragetti grab Elizabeth by the arms and bring her to what will be her residence for the next couple of days.

Oh, for heaven's sake. Kiss already, dammit!

Oh, for heaven's sake. Just kiss already, dammit!

It is subtly shown in this scene that Barbossa appreciates an intelligent, strong and fiery woman. I think that, from the moment he had first seen her, there had been something about her that intrigued him. He was, at first, polite and courteous to her. He may have considered to keep her aboard for a while, merely for her company (after all: how long has it been since Barbossa had last enjoyed the company of an attractive young woman aboard his ship?). Not because he wanted to bed her (what would be the point? He cannot feel and thus never enjoy the act of lovemaking), mind you. But the moment he learns that her surname is Turner, he becomes distant and aloof to her. It's like he's angry that she's Bootstrap's daughter - not only because that reminds him of what he has done in the past, but also because her parentage means that he's going to have to hurt her by spilling her blood in order to reverse the curse (and he may very well have been loathe to hurt a woman such as Elizabeth - he may have killed many men in fights, but I doubt he would deliberately kill an innocent woman that cannot defend herself - even Barbossa has his own sense of honour). This makes him tense, and he distances himself from her emotionally, because he cannot allow himself to get too attached to her in any way. He has to pretend to be as cold as stone, for himself and for her, otherwise he may not be able to kill her once they have arrived at Isla de Muerta. If you see what I mean.

2. Dinner with the pirate captain.

Elizabeth has just spent an entire day locked into her cabin in the stern galleries without any food or drinks whatsoever. Obviously that is enough to make a person become peevish, and Elizabeth is even more so: angry because Barbossa deceived her, while at the same time he *was* right about the loopholes she had left in their bargain, which also causes her to be mad at herself for her own stupidity. Because of her crankiness and the treatment she has received so far, she is ill-inclined to cooperate when Pintel and Ragetti unlock her cabin and enter it, informing her that the captain requests that she joins him for dinner, and that she should wear a proper dress (for Elizabeth is dressed in nothing but her smock). "Well, you may tell the captain that I am disinclined to acquiesce to his request," says Elizabeth cattily (why does this remind me of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast", where Belle refused to dine with the Beast?). Pintel grins at that, and says: "He said you'd say that! He also said that if that be the case, you'll be dinin' with the crew... and you'll be naked." It is in a way interesting to see that Barbossa apparently knew what Elizabeth's initial reaction would be to his request; this suggests that he has his fair share of knowledge about fiery, spirited women such as herself.

Unsurprisingly, Elizabeth chooses to dine with Barbossa, not least because he appears to be the most well-mannered man aboard. Dinner takes place in one of the cabins in the stern galleries of the ship, possibly the cabin Elizabeth has been locked in. During dinner, Barbossa is suddenly much more courteous to her than he had been during their first encounter; whatever it was that had made him become distant to her after it was revealed that she is Bootstrap Bill's daughter, is gone now. Elizabeth, however, is certainly more on her guard now, especially because the captain is not who she had thought to be at first. She eats daintily, but after Barbossa tells her that there's no need to stand on ceremony, she hungrily begins to gobble all her food. A fascinated Barbossa watches how she eats (no doubt he finds it strangely erotic in some way; he's trying to taste the food through her), and is being helpful by giving her a goblet of wine and he even offers her one of his beloved apples (I doubt we'll ever find out why he has this strange fascination with apples). Elizabeth fears the apple is poisoned, and Barbossa chuckles at that. "There would be no sense to be killing ye, Miss Turner," he says, and Elizabeth then urges him to release her because she is "of no further value" to him. It is then that Barbossa relays to her the whole tale of Hernán Cortés and the Aztec gold, and she listens to him breathlessly. At a certain moment, Elizabeth slightly abandons her caution when she dares to say that she doesn't believe him, as she "hardly believes in ghost stories anymore." Rather than being a little insulted, Barbossa chuckles and rises from his seat. He continues his story and we see how Elizabeth's eyes warily follow him, and she evidently is very much aware of his proximity when he leans on her chair and brings his face rather close to hers. At this moment, she is intrigued by him (because he is a hard man to nail down) - but mostly she is cautious and wary, because with the reputation pirates had in those days, it is no surprise if she feared that he was going to rape her. Only the elaborate dinner and Barbossa's sudden politeness was enough to make her suspicious. It is most likely for this reason that she sneakily takes her knife underneath the table, so that she would be able to protect herself just in case.

Just a little bit more closer....

Just a little bit more closer....

At the end of Barbossa's story, Elizabeth asks him to clarify the part about 'the blood to be repaid.' "That's why there's no sense to be killing ye," Barbossa answers, "yet." (Ofcourse he doesn't mean to actually kill her: he likes to fool her, to push all of her buttons so he can get her all worked up.) A surprised and frightful look appears on Elizabeth's face as his words sink in. She takes them to mean that he plans to rape her first, and kill her afterwards - and she has no intention of letting that happen. Bravely, she slaps away the hand with which he offers her an apple, stands up and brandishes the knife she had hidden. By taking a few steps backwards, Barbossa pretends to be frightened by this, but he's clearly enjoying her defiance and her courage. She tries to escape and he runs after her. Here again we see that he is a man who appreciates a fiery, passionate woman - this reminds me a bit of Rhett Butler who couldn't stay away from Scarlett O'Hara if his life depended on it (in the beginning of their acquaintance, at least).
When Barbossa manages to grab Elizabeth in order to keep her from fleeing the cabin, she stabs him with the knife in a reflex, in a moment of panic and desire to save herself from being raped. Elizabeth is horrified that she has driven the knife straight into Barbossa's heart, for a wound like that is lethal and she never meant to murder someone. She doesn't want to have blood on her hands, and so we can see that she genuinely regrets stabbing Barbossa. But her surprise is great when he doesn't drop dead in front of her; rather, he pulls the knife out of his heart and asks her: "After killing me, what was it you plannin' on doing next?" Elizabeth, shocked by this display and at the same time afraid for his wrath because she had had the nerve to stab him, flees the cabin and is greeted by a even more horrible sight outside. Now she is genuinely afraid and momentarily panicks; but she quickly gathers her wits and fights the pirates with a cool and clear head when she has to.

Look, if you pick me instead of Turner, I can show you the whole world....

"Look, if you pick me instead of Turner, I can show you the whole world...."

Ultimately, after being scared by the monkey, she intends to run back into the cabin again but Barbossa stands in front of the door, blocking her (no doubt he had been watching the whole scene outside from there). He grabs her and turns her around to make her face the full moon and his crew, and she calms down a bit. Barbossa then tells her about the curse, and in a pained voice, he tells her: "For too long I've been parched with thirst and unable to quench it. Too long I've been starvin' to death, and haven't died. I feel nothing! Not the wind on my face nor the spray of the sea.... nor the warmth of a woman's flesh." Note their proximity to one another in this scene, and how Barbossa - for a moment unconcerned about the fact that his crew witnesses this - virtually bares his soul to Elizabeth. After he finishes telling her about the curse, he realises he has to do something to tone down the seriousness and intimacy of the situation because he doesn't want his crew to see a more personal side of him. And so he opens a bottle of rum and drinks from it; everyone can see how the rum makes its way down his chest. This makes the curse even more confronting to Elizabeth, and sickened by this display, she runs back to her cabin. Barbossa then throws the bottle away, disgusted with himself because he's so ugly in his decaying skeletal form (and he knows that Elizabeth views him as some kind of beast because of this). This also reminds me of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast", where in the beginning of the film, the Beast tears his portrait to shreds because he is so disgusted by his appearance.

After Elizabeth has run away, Barbossa laughs hard, and the crew laughs with him. Apparently the scene of drinking the rum bottle did enough to distract the crew from his 'emotional' tale of woe, and he tells them to get back to work.

Perhaps Barbossa feels a little bit guilty about what he's going to have to do to Elizabeth once they are on Isla de Muerta, so he has his cook cook an excellent dinner and urges her to join him for dinner. He has suddenly abandoned his distance towards her, and treats her like a lady from high society - even though he knows that she's not (since Elizabeth only told him that she's a maid that works in the governor's household). He uses the opportunity to get to know Bootstrap Bill's child a little bit more as well.
While on her guard, at the same time, Elizabeth feels enough at ease in Barbossa's presence to abandon all table manners and eat like someone who has been starved for days. She wouldn't ever have done that in her father's or Will's presence - and a true well-raised, snobby lady from high society (and Elizabeth certainly belongs to high society) from those days would not even have eaten like that even if Barbossa had said that there's no need to stand on ceremony. In a way it's probably refreshing to her to do for once that what is not considered appropriate - and this shows that Elizabeth doesn't truly feel at home in high society, even though she was born into it. This is already shown in the beginning of the film, when Elizabeth exhibits an 'unhealthy' interest in something unladylike (pirates) as a child - and when she complains about wearing a corset (she already feels caged in her current situation, and to Elizabeth, wearing a corset is like being shackled or something). Keira Knightley says in a special feature on the DVD ("An Epic At Sea" -> "The Actors") that Elizabeth is "a modern girl stuck in the eighteenth-century-world", and that's true. Her character description on Wikipedia even says: "Elizabeth, in essence, has the propriety and breeding of a noble lady, but the wit and will of a pirate wench." So very true. Perhaps Barbossa recognised that in her from the very start.

Last but not least, it's interesting that Barbossa, distrusting man though he is, somehow seems to trust Elizabeth enough to tell her the whole tale and to tell her about his woes. The pain is palpable on his face, and he reaches out to her face when he tells her that he cannot even feel the warmth of a woman's flesh. He longs to feel again, to feel her.

3. Preparing for the visit to the cave.

In this scene, Barbossa and his crew have arrived at Isla de Muerta and are preparing to leave the ship and make their way to the cave. The ambiance is tense and heavy with anticipation. For the rest of this scene, I will simply quote Katherine Judd from her character analysis of Captain Barbossa: "Barbossa prepares Elizabeth for her 'death.' Taking his time, he gently pulls her hair out of the way and places the medaillon around her neck. Her hands bound and led by a rope, Elizabeth nevertheless receives courtly assistance from the pirates who want to ensure she remains unharmed until the moment her blood is spilled. Again, he reveals his knowledge of high society in his handling of the lady, knowing exactly where to place his hands and where not. But his focus lies in the cave, and he mentally prepares himself for what he thinks will be the first day of the rest of his mortal life."

Barbossa is obviously tense with anticipation, but he could also be reluctant to hurt Elizabeth. He may have been searching for a way to keep her alive, thinking: "Perhaps the curse can be lifted if I spill only a little of her blood, instead of slashing her throat. Perhaps it isn't necessary to kill her in order to reverse the curse - so let's try that first."

4. The treasure in the cave on Isla de Muerta.

The pirate Twigg drags Elizabeth over to the stone chest that is filled with the cursed Aztec gold, and Barbossa is already standing there. He doesn't say much to Elizabeth in this scene, because he likes to keep her in the dark. Why? Because a) he doesn't want to provide no more information to her than is strictly necessary (just like Jack Sparrow, who had learned to keep things to himself after Barbossa had led a mutiny against him ten years ago) and b) he still wants to keep up the little charade about killing Elizabeth, just because it makes things more interesting to see her get all worked up. And Elizabeth certainly is frightened for her impending death. After stirring up his crew for the big moment (Barbossa certainly likes to hear himself talk, and the grandeur of moments like these), he makes it appear that he's going to slash Elizabeth's throat with his ivory knife, but instead he takes her right hand and makes a small, superficial cut on it. "That's it?!" says a completely baffled Elizabeth, who is also dismayed at the fact that Barbossa had been fooling her. He gives her an almost benign, if not faintly seductive, smile. "Waste not!" he says, and then he drops the bloodied medaillon into the chest. Barbossa and the crew are expecting a miracle or something similar to happen, but it doesn't. In his frustration, he shoots Pintel in his heart (and wow, what a deadly accurate aim does Barbossa have! He must have had an excellent training in the art of shooting) and when Pintel doesn't collapse, he knows for sure that the curse is not reversed. Now Barbossa's frustration is replaced by an ever growing rage, and he turns to Elizabeth, grabbing her by her arms. He demands to know whether her father was William Turner, and when her answer is negative, he wants to know if she knows where Bootstrap Bill's real child is. When that answer is also negative, Barbossa slaps her, for a moment unable to think clearly because of his rage. Elizabeth falls down the pile of treasure - apparently Barbossa knocked her out cold, but I doubt it. He didn't hit her *that* hard - she must have pretended to be unconscious. Or, she didn't pretend but was so exhausted due to a lack of sleep (she had probably been so afraid about her impending death that she couldn't sleep at night) that she just didn't have the strength or will to get up again. Anyway, she couldn't have been completely unconscious, because she stirs immediately when Will places his hand on her mouth and comes to rescue her. He brings her to safety, and when Barbossa finds out that Elizabeth is missing and that she has taken the medaillon with him, he orders his crew to go look for her.

Barbossa cuts Elizabeth with an iron look on his face; here we see again that distances himself from her emotionally - he's loathe to hurt an innocent young woman, but he *has* to perform this task in order to reverse the curse.
After Elizabeth turns out not to be Bootstrap Bill's daughter, Barbossa is temporarily blinded by rage and ten years' worth of frustration - unable to think clearly for a moment, he backhands her. He may regret doing that later on, but at that very moment, he could care less. When he discovers that Elizabeth has escaped with the medaillon, he orders his crew to go after her. It's the medaillon he wants - he could have let his crew fetch the medaillon and leave Elizabeth alone somewhere on the island (after all, she's not the person whose blood he needs), but he didn't. Instead, he wants his crew to capture her as well - presumably because he doesn't want her to die. He may have told himself that he would drop her off at the next harbour or (inhabited) island that the Black Pearl encounters, or he just figured that she might come in useful later on (as it turned out).

5. Back aboard the Black Pearl, after the explosion of the Interceptor.

Elizabeth is filled with rage and grief when the Interceptor explodes, because she believes that Will was aboard. She is bound to the mast but frees herself from it and runs to Barbossa, attacking him from behind. "You godless pirate!" she screams, and he immediately turns around, not bothered at all by Elizabeth's little attack. He is amused to see her so worked up, and this once again shows how he likes her spirit. However, as she is not the child of Bootstrap Bill, she is no longer of use to him and as such requires no courtly treatment anymore. Especially because she has deceived him and hindered him too much in the past few days (and she doesn't seem to want to cooperate anymore), causing him to lose what little goodwill he had towards her. He gives her to his crew, presumably to let them to with her as they please - but that's only what it *seems* like. True, Barbossa could actually care less about what happens to her after he has given her to his crew - but it could also again be his idea of a joke. After all, didn't he go all gloom and doom on Elizabeth when it came to lifting the curse, predicting her death? Yet that was just a little game of his, and his handing her over to the crew could have been a little game as well. He could have intended to give her to the crew only temporarily, to make her sweat - and then intervene when things started to escalate.

6. Walking the plank.

After agreeing that Elizabeth should go free, Barbossa has his crew force her to walk the plank. "It does seem a shame to lose something so fine, don't it lads?" he says to his crew (hereby officially stating that he recognises Elizabeth's beauty), and they all agree. "So I'll be having that dress back before you go," he says to Elizabeth: even now he likes to taunt her and push her buttons. An indignant Elizabeth rids herself of the dress (note: she could have jumped from the plank and thereby not grant Barbossa the pleasure of having his dress back, but yet she didn't and obeyed him) and walks towards Barbossa with it. "Goes with your black heart," she says waspishly, and Barbossa smiles and presses the dress to his face. "Hmm, it's still warm," he says then - ofcourse he cannot actually feel the warmth, but it was just a joke. The boatswain makes Elizabeth fall from the plank, and after that, Jack is also forced to walk the plank. Fortunately he and Elizabeth make it to the island safely.

Okay, did Barbossa really want Elizabeth to die on that island? Probably, since she has proven by now that she's on the side of his enemy (Jack Sparrow) and therefore untrustworthy. But who knows, perhaps he intended to pick her up again later and then leave Jack to starve to death on the island alone. That would be risky, though - he would be mortal again then, and that meant that Jack could easily shoot him with his pistol. Ofcourse, to avoid that, he could simply let a few members of his crew fetch Elizabeth - but yet, it seems a little bit unlikely. But then again, you never know what could have gone on in Barbossa's mind. :)

7. Back to Isla de Muerta.

Jack and Barbossa are engaged in heated swordfighting, while Will busies himself with three members of Barbossa's crew. Elizabeth enters the cave and saves Will from one pirate, knocking said pirate over with a heavy staff. Elizabeth notices Jack and Barbossa fighting in the moonlight; there's an intrigued look on her face as she sees that Jack is now under the curse as well, and she wonders whose side he's on. She and Will then continue to fight the other three pirates, eventually blowing them up with a grenade.
Meanwhile, Jack and Barbossa continue to fight. Jack pushes Barbossa to the ground, swiftly cuts his hand open and throws the bloodied coin to Will, who catches it deftly. Barbossa then pulls out his pistol and points it into the direction of whoever he sees (out from the corner of his eye) running towards him and Jack. Elizabeth immediately stops running when the pistol is being pointed at her, and it is only when Barbossa turns his head that he sees that it is Elizabeth who had come running towards him and Jack. For a split second, we see a faint smirk on Barbossa's face: he smirks because he knows that she cannot hurt him or do something else to hinder him (thus, he's got her stuck once again). But his smile also shows a faint hint of appreciation for Elizabeth: appreciation of the fact that she did not stay away from the danger after her rescue (as any sane woman from those days would have done), but rather she escaped to seek the danger again in order to save a beloved one. He recognises the fact that she's a woman with guts, and he likes and admires that. And, perhaps, apart from all that, he also noticed that Elizabeth is wearing a navy uniform - men's clothing. Quite inappropriate for a woman in those days, but perhaps to a pirate like Barbossa it must be strangely arousing to see Elizabeth in breeches (which make her shape much more visible), despite the circumstances.

But whatever it is that Barbossa thinks about Elizabeth in this moment, it's certain that he's momentarily distracted and off-guard by her, allowing Jack Sparrow (who undoubtedly thought that Barbossa was going to shoot Elizabeth) to shoot him in the heart. A horrified look appears on Elizabeth's face when she hears the shot; yes, she was terrified by the loud, harsh sound of a pistol shot, but that's not all. She's shocked that Barbossa has been shot, but she smiles very briefly after Will - who has cut his own hand by now as well and besmirched the coin with his blood - drops the coin into the stone chest. Elizabeth understands that Will has reversed the curse now, but at first she doesn't completely seem to understand the repercussions of this for Barbossa. Perhaps she thought that Jack had shot Barbossa in his arm or something (very well possible, given the relative darkness of the cave and the fact that Elizabeth is standing too far away from Jack and Barbossa to see everything crystal clear), thus assuming that Barbossa would easily be overpowered now that he was mortal with an ugly shotwound. But a troubled look appears on her face when it starts to sink in that Jack has fatally wounded Barbossa, and after uttering his last words ("I feel.... cold."), Barbossa falls dead to the ground.

Will, you bastard! You helped Jack kill Barbossa!

"Will, you bastard! You helped Jack kill Barbossa!"

A couple of minutes after that, we find Elizabeth standing in the moonlight by herself (with her back turned to the viewer), staring ahead of her. She's probably trying to cope with everything that has just happened. Will, who has presumably just talked to Jack, walks over to her. As she turns around, we see that Elizabeth has a sad look on her face, and watery eyes. The whole ordeal is finally over, she should be overjoyed - but instead she is on the verge of tears (and they are certainly not tears of joy). Why? Because Barbossa died. He may have been a man with a questionable character, but he was not the evilest pirate on the face of the earth (read the one-chapter fic "Apples" by JessieRose, then you'll see what I mean). Elizabeth didn't want him to die. Who knows, perhaps a side of her had somehow grown fond of the pirate captain (though she would be loathe to admit it) - after all, they did spend more than a week together on the Black Pearl (I know the film makes it look like everything has happened in about four days' time, but in reality, that's impossible) and there likely had been more than one dinner for which she had been obliged to join him.

Anyway, when Will comes up to Elizabeth, he reminds her of another 'awful' thing: she is now betrothed to Commodore Norrington (she accepted the Commodore's proposal earlier in the film, in an attempt to get him to rescue Will). That's like adding salt to the wound to Elizabeth, and she feels even more miserable now; unable to hold back her tears, she storms away from Will and goes to the boat that will bring them to the Dauntless.

In this scene, we see that Barbossa is a swordfighter par excellence. Geoffrey Rush says the following about this in the special feature "An Epic At Sea" (-> "The Actors"): "I thought this guy had gotta be a big, dirty fighter. He's had a sword on his belt, probably from the time he was about thirteen and just knew how to hack off heads and skewer people." (He probably learnt a lot of this as well during the ten years he had spent with the famous privateer Henry Morgan, as Barbossa says in a dialogue that was cut from the script.) When Elizabeth runs into the cave and saves Will, there's a slightly intrigued look on her face when she sees Jack and Barbossa fighting in the moonlight - who knows, she may have been admiring Barbossa's swordfighting skills. ;)
In this final scene, when Elizabeth and Will are battling the three pirates, we can also see that Elizabeth is no longer afraid of anything - while in the beginning of the film she was a bit of an uncertain, afraid and helpless little girl, she is now an adventurous and completely confident young woman. She has seen that there's a world outside the world she has grown up in, and she feels that she has completely come to life during this adventure. Just like Will, she has developed her adventurous side in the course of the film.

Well, I believe that's all I wanted to say. :)

I think a lot of people think that I'm crazy or delusional right now, but oh well. I just believe that Barbossa is not as evil as the film wants to make us believe (see Katherine Judd's character analysis of Barbossa), and that he and Elizabeth are very compatible with each other when it comes to their personalities. A lot of people will probably think: "Okay, that might be, but still, he's too ugly for Elizabeth to ever fall in love with." Okay. I know Barbossa is not a physically attractive man (when it comes to his face, at least - his chest and the rest of him is more than okay!) - he must have been when he was young, but many years on the sea considerably weathered his face. But that shouldn't really stop Elizabeth from falling in love with him in a fanfic story (well, perhaps his teeth might....) - if she isn't a shallow woman, that is. And don't they say that love is blind? If she falls in love with him, she will no longer see his physical shortcomings. So, there you go. It isn't 100% impossible for Elizabeth to fall in love with him - therefore this 'ship could work in a well-written fanfic story (I mean, if they can make Jack/Barbossa work in some fics, then why not?). :)

Speaking of fanfiction, there is no actual Barbossa/Elizabeth story available (at least, not to my knowledge), though I have found two with a bit of subtext between the two. I will list them below, along with other links you might feel like checking out. :)


"Apples" by JessieRose (one-chapter fic)

"Birds" by Eurothrashed (one-chapter fic)


From Captain to Captain - the Barbossa and Elizabeth fanlisting

Humble Pirate - the Barbossa fanlisting

Vivid Beauty - the Elizabeth Swann fanlisting

Phenomenal - the Geoffrey Rush fanlisting

Elegance - the Keira Knightley fanlisting

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl fanlisting
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: "Postcards From Heaven" by The Lighthouse Family
Freddie: Yogi Bearfreddiebear on March 1st, 2006 02:44 am (UTC)
I read up to 'Aboard the Black Pearl'!
Interesting piece.

I can understand why Keira could be attracted to Barbarossa, the way you describe it, but, by the same token, wouldn't she have been *more* attracted to Jack Sparrow?

Lucille: Pirate Flagdying_dreams on March 6th, 2006 11:23 pm (UTC)
Re: I read up to 'Aboard the Black Pearl'!
You're completely right. I'm aware that Jack and Barbossa are similar in many ways, and so she could also be attracted to Sparrow. But I think perhaps Barbossa would easier attract her attention than Jack would - after all, he isn't constantly more or less drunk (that's what Jack has always seemed to me, a bit) and seems to have a little bit more flair, style and grandeur. :)
(Anonymous) on March 6th, 2006 08:06 pm (UTC)
Cool, you like the Barbossa/Elizabeth pairing, too? I'm a huge fan of it as of two days ago, but have been a Captain Barbossa fan since seeing the movie. It's very aggrivating that there's such an extreme little in fanstuffs is around the internet.
Lucille: Barbossa Arcanedying_dreams on March 6th, 2006 11:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Barbossa/Elizabeth
Great to see another Barbossa/Elizabeth 'shipper out there! :D I know it's frustrating that there's so little about them on the Internet - that's why I'm in the process of writing a fanfiction story about them. :) I've almost finished the final chapter - though I would have finished it sooner, had my life not been so busy. :-S
Freddie: Batman played by Adam Westfreddiebear on March 11th, 2006 01:58 am (UTC)
Aboard the Black Pearl!
Looked up bo'sun (boatswain) and poop - thanks for improving my vocabulary! :-)

As for Barbarossa not being willing to have a jolly roger with Liz, well, he could always tickle her foot in his cabin - he may get squeals of delight! :-D
Lucille: Pirate Flagdying_dreams on March 14th, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Aboard the Black Pearl!
As for Barbarossa not being willing to have a jolly roger with Liz, well, he could always tickle her foot in his cabin - he may get squeals of delight! :-D

Ha ha! Now, *that* is an idea I might consider using for my story. :D

By the way, it's Barbossa and not Barbarossa - Barbarossa makes me think of Hitlers 'Operation Barbarossa.' :-S
Freddie: Yogi Bearfreddiebear on March 15th, 2006 02:50 am (UTC)
Re: Aboard the Black Pearl!
LOL - wasn't there a Frederick Barbarossa too? :-D
Kira-Iras: the other black holekira_iras on September 2nd, 2006 03:27 pm (UTC)
Kira-Iraskira_iras on September 2nd, 2006 03:32 pm (UTC)
So sorry, messed up the first link somehow :(

Second Try
Lucille: Derek & Meredith 4dying_dreams on September 3rd, 2006 08:51 am (UTC)
Thanks, Kira! I haven't read the fanfic yet, but I will, as soon as possible. :)
Kira-Iras: Tim Roth - cool Apekira_iras on September 16th, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC)
You're welcome :)
A modern girl in a 19th century world: davyrobes_of_earth on September 2nd, 2006 04:10 pm (UTC)
*runs around in a complete spazz and dies in a fit of fandomlust*

have my babies. This is brilliant, simply brilliant. I write a shorter essay today on the attraction Elizabeth/Barbossa has for me, I see a good mutual has linked you to me above. We have similar ideas, but I give you props for seeing this pairing alot earlier than I did- but then I've only just dumped myself in PotC fandom- I loved the first film, but I was nowhere near as obssessed with it as I am now we have DMC. I was too in love with Potter- it's so nice to have another fandom turn my head!

About having the dress back- he may have also done it to ensure she didn't drown. As we have seen in the earliest part of the film, a ladies dress in those times was very heavy with layers, and dropping her in the drink with it on would have sent her straight to the bottom. Of course, it served as a reminder to him as well.

He may have left her to die in that island- but don't forget she left Jack to die on the Pearl in DMC, and we are supposed to believe that she has eyes for him. Perhaps it is a similar situation here: let them go from life, and hence from your own life, and they can never get in the way of things ever again.

I believe Lizzie chained Jack to the ship not only to save everyone else, but to save herself from Jack- he represented something she didn't want to think about- another man. Perhaps Barbossa has a similar experience with love as Davy Jones- tried once, didn't work, never again (perhaps the previous onwner of the dress?)

I would like to friend you, if that's alright.
Lucille: Derek & Meredith 2dying_dreams on September 3rd, 2006 02:43 pm (UTC)
have my babies. This is brilliant, simply brilliant. I write a shorter essay today on the attraction Elizabeth/Barbossa has for me, I see a good mutual has linked you to me above. We have similar ideas, but I give you props for seeing this pairing alot earlier than I did- but then I've only just dumped myself in PotC fandom- I loved the first film, but I was nowhere near as obssessed with it as I am now we have DMC. I was too in love with Potter- it's so nice to have another fandom turn my head!

Hey, I'm glad you liked my long piece of text! ;) Also, I'm as equally glad as you are to see a fellow Barbel 'shipper. ;)

About having the dress back- he may have also done it to ensure she didn't drown. As we have seen in the earliest part of the film, a ladies dress in those times was very heavy with layers, and dropping her in the drink with it on would have sent her straight to the bottom. Of course, it served as a reminder to him as well.

That's a very interesting thought - I hadn't thought of that yet! It shows even more that he does, in fact, care for the lady. :)

I would like to friend you, if that's alright.

Done! :P
rushysgirlrushysgirl on November 6th, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC)
Brilliant work. I'm a major fan of Geoffrey Rush and of course Barbossa. He's a real gentleman deep down. And he's perfect for Liz. They make such an adorable couple. As you can tell, I'm also a major Barbossabeth shipper. Peace xxx
Lucille: Merlindying_dreams on December 3rd, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC)
First, I would like to apologise for the rather late reaction to your comment (I've got a lot of things going on in real life lately).

Second, I'm glad you liked reading this! :) And I really dig that avatar of Geoffrey you've got there. *fans herself*

*happy sigh*

Anyway, I'm glad to have you in my friends list - the more B/E 'shippers (or Geoffrey-lovers, for that matter), the merrier! I've been looking at your journal every now and then (when I had some time), and ooooh, such shiny pictures! I save every one of them. *blush* Keep on posting them! :D

Well, I guess that's it for now - see you around! ;)
paigebat411 on June 27th, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
I admire the way you presented this and provided evidence and even made me think I'm still sjaky on the age difference. I mean Barbossa is probably 20 odd somthing years older than Elizabeth it just seems wierd though...but I'm willing to have an open mind about this paring ;)
(Anonymous) on January 24th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
I mean Barbossa is probably 20 odd somthing years older than Elizabeth it just seems wierd though...but I'm willing to have an open mind about this paring ;)

it wouldnt really matter, in those days girls at 15-13 were married to men 20-60+, and she agreed to marry norington who was about 19-25 when they met when she was little and she like 19 later and hes about 30-40, and jack is most likely the same age as Barbossa, the only ones in the movie that look their age are the governer and will. but yeah, they would of made a cute couple. will can go away. Barbossa can stay
barbossabeth199barbossabeth199 on July 3rd, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
Actually, I think Barbossa is at least in his late 40's-late 50's. I read somewhere that he was in fact 58. That would make him 38 years Elizabeth's senior (I read that she was 20)

Jack is probably in his 30's-early 40's.
sbredbere1896sbredbere1896 on April 20th, 2011 12:34 pm (UTC)
well, actually according to my favourite source (and yours looking at your jounral barbossabeth199) www.pirates.wikia.com , Barbossa was born in 1680's. CotBP is set in the 1740's as On Stranger Tides is set in 1750. So that makes him about 60. Doesn't look it though. :P
barbossabeth199barbossabeth199 on January 4th, 2012 07:01 pm (UTC)
And, sbredbere1896, I'll think you'll find I was technically right. Mwhaha
sbredbere1896sbredbere1896 on February 17th, 2012 01:05 pm (UTC)
look at us two arguing over barbs' age. I don't think it matters.
Livin' La Vida Dorka: Barbossa wonders what Jack's compensatinwere_lemur on November 27th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
Ooh, nifty. You articulated a whole bunch of subtexty things that were there but not anything I'd been quite able to put into words.

I think I'm going to have to go work on that Barbossabeth drabble now ...
barbossabeth199barbossabeth199 on May 12th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
Barbossa and Elizabeth are such a sweet couple. I love them!

They deserve to be with each other.

The thing is, it was common back then for girls from as young as 15 to married to men old enough to be their fathers or even grandfathers. That's what makes this couple plausible.

For example, Barbossa must be at least 30 years older (my guess is that he's in his late 40's early 50's, and Liz is in her late teens, early 20's)

This is why I love the 18th century, any kind of marriage like that would be acceptable, with no kind of prejudice.
hectorsquarters on March 18th, 2011 05:59 am (UTC)
Looking for Barbossabeth fic?
I have two stories, you can find the AFF links here:


Quite explicit, so be warned...
Lucille: John & Marlena - Let's make lovedying_dreams on April 23rd, 2011 04:53 am (UTC)
Re: Looking for Barbossabeth fic?
Thank you for the recommendations, hectorsquarters - I will check them out when I have the time and concentration to do so. :)