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A swashbuckler is a
genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category of being, category of literature, ...

genre
of European adventure literature that focuses on a heroic protagonist
stock character A stock character is a stereotypical Police officers buying doughnuts and coffee, an example of perceived stereotypical behavior in North America. Social psychology Social psychology is the Science, scientific study of how the thoug ...
who is skilled in swordplay, acrobatics, guile and possesses chivalrous ideals. A "swashbuckler" protagonist is heroic, daring, and idealistic: he rescues damsels in distress, protects the downtrodden, and uses
duel A duel is an arranged engagement in combat between two people, with matched weapons, in accordance with agreed-upon rules Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political Politics (from , ) is the set of activit ...

duel
s to defend his honor or that of a lady or to avenge a comrade. Swashbucklers often engage in daring and romantic adventures with bravado or flamboyance. Swashbuckler heroes are gentleman adventurers who dress elegantly and flamboyantly in coats, waistcoats, tight breeches, large feathered hats, and high leather boots, and they are armed with the thin
rapier A rapier () or is a type of sword with a slender and sharply-pointed two-edged blade that was popular in Western Europe, both for civilian use (dueling and self-defense) and as a military Sidearm (weapon), side arm, throughout the 16th and 17th ...

rapier
s used by aristocrats. Swashbucklers are not unrepentant brigands or pirates, although some may rise from such disreputable stations and achieve redemption.Richards, Jeffrey. ''Swordsmen of the Screen'', Routledge, 2014
His opponent is typically characterized as a dastardly villain. While the hero may face down a number of henchmen to the villain during a story, the climax is a dramatic one-on-one sword battle between the protagonist and the villain. There is a long list of swashbucklers who combine courage, skill, resourcefulness, and a distinctive sense of honor and justice, as for example ''
Cyrano de Bergerac Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac ( , ; 6 March 1619 – 28 July 1655) was a French novelist, playwright, Letter (message), epistolarian, and duelist. A bold and innovative author, his work was part of the libertine literature of the first hal ...
'', ''
The Three Musketeers ''The Three Musketeers'' (french: link=no, Les Trois Mousquetaires ) is a French historical adventure novel written in 1844 by French author Alexandre Dumas. It is in the swashbuckler genre, which has heroic, chivalrous swordsmen who fight fo ...
'', ''
The Scarlet Pimpernel ''The Scarlet Pimpernel'' is the first novel in a series of historical fiction by Baroness Orczy, published in 1905. It was written after her stage play of the same title enjoyed a long run in London, having opened in Nottingham in 1903. The no ...
'',
Robin Hood Robin Hood is a legendary hero File:Wilhelm Tell Denkmal Altdorf um 1900.jpeg, upWilliam Tell, a popular folk hero of Switzerland. A hero (heroine in its feminine form) is a real person or a main fictional character who, in the face ...

Robin Hood
, and
Zorro Zorro (Spanish language, Spanish for 'Fox') is a fictional character created in 1919 by American pulp magazine, pulp writer Johnston McCulley, and appearing in works set in the Pueblo of Los Angeles in Alta California. He is typically portraye ...

Zorro
. As a
historical fiction #REDIRECT historical fiction #REDIRECT historical fiction#REDIRECT historical fiction Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the plot takes place in a setting located in the past. Although the term is commonly used as a synonym for the ...
genre, it is often set in the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
or
Cavalier Cavalier () was first used by Roundhead Roundheads were the supporters of the Parliament of England during the English Civil War (1642–1651). Also known as Parliamentarians, they fought against King Charles I of England and his supporte ...

Cavalier
era. The stock character also became common in the
film genre A film genre is a stylistic or thematic category for motion pictures A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the pra ...
, which extended the genre to the
Golden Age of Piracy The Golden Age of Piracy is a common designation for the period between the 1650s and the 1730s, when maritime piracy Piracy is an act of robbery Robbery is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by ...
. As swashbuckler stories are often mixed with the
romance Romance (from Vulgar Latin , "in the Roman language", i.e., "Latin") may refer to: Common meanings * Romance (love) Romance or Romantic love is an emotional feeling of love for, or a strong attraction towards another person, and the Court ...
genre, there will often be a beautiful, aristocratic female
love interest Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotion Emotions are biological states associated with all of the nerve systems brought on by neurophysiological changes variously associated with thoughts, feelings, behavioural responses, ...
to whom the hero expresses a refined,
courtly love Courtly love ( oc, fin'amor ; french: amour courtois ) was a medieval Europe In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire ...
. At the same time, since swashbuckler plots are often based on intrigues involving corrupt religious figures or scheming monarchs, the heroes may be tempted by alluring
femme fatale A ''femme fatale'' ( or ; , literally "fatal woman"), sometimes called a maneater or vamp, is a stock character Stock (also capital stock) is all of the shares into which ownership of a corporation is divided.Longman Business English Dic ...

femme fatale
s or vampish courtesans.


Etymology

"Swashbuckler" is a
compound Compound may refer to: Architecture and built environments * Compound (enclosure), a cluster of buildings having a shared purpose, usually inside a fence or wall ** Compound (fortification), a version of the above fortified with defensive structu ...
of "swash" (archaic: to swagger with a drawn sword) and "
buckler Buckler front and back A buckler (French ''bouclier'' 'shield', from Old French ''bocle, boucle'' ' boss') is a small shield, up to 45 cm (up to 18 in) in diameter, gripped in the fist with a central handle behind the boss. While being u ...
" (a small shield gripped in the fist) dating from the
16th century The 16th century begins with the Julian calendar, Julian year 1501 (Roman numerals, MDI) and ends with either the Julian or the Gregorian calendar, Gregorian year 1600 (Roman numerals, MDC) (depending on the reckoning used; the Gregorian calend ...
.


Historical background

While
man-at-arms A man-at-arms was a soldier of the High Middle Ages, High Medieval to Renaissance periods who was typically well-versed in the use of arms and served as a fully armoured heavy cavalryman. A man-at-arms could be a knight, or other nobleman, a ...
and
sellswords
sellswords
of the era usually wore armor of necessity, their counterparts in later romantic literature and film (see below) often did not, and the term evolved to denote a daring, devil-may-care demeanor rather than brandishment of accoutrements of war. Swashbuckling adventures and romances are generally set in Europe from the late
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
up through the Age of Reason and the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
, extending into the colonial era with
pirate Piracy is an act of robbery Robbery is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted ...
tales in the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles ...
.


Literature

Jeffrey Richards Jeffrey Richards (born c.1945Chris Arno"Fast Forward: Jeffrey Richards" ''The Guardian'', 11 January 2005) is a British historian. Educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, he is Professor of Cultural History at Lancaster University. A leading cu ...
traces the swashbuckling novel to the rise of
Romanticism Romanticism (also known as the Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, musical, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe towards the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to ...
, and an outgrowth of the historical novel, particularly those of Sir
Walter Scott Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832), was a Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright and historian. Many of his works remain classics of European and Scottish literature Scottish literature is literatu ...

Walter Scott
, "... medieval tales of chivalry, love and adventure rediscovered in the eighteenth century". This type of historical novel was further developed by
Alexandre Dumas Alexandre Dumas (, ; ; born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie ; 24 July 1802 – 5 December 1870), also known as Alexandre Dumas père (where '' '' is French for 'father', thus 'the elder/senior'), was a French writer. His works have been tra ...

Alexandre Dumas
.
John Galsworthy John Galsworthy (; 14 August 1867 – 31 January 1933) was an English novelist and playwright. Notable works include ''The Forsyte Saga'' (1906–1921) and its sequels, ''A Modern Comedy'' and ''End of the Chapter''. He won the Nobel Prize in ...

John Galsworthy
said of
Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenson (born Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson; 13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist, essayist, poet and travel writer. He is best known for works such as ''Treasure Island ''Treasure Island'' (origi ...

Robert Louis Stevenson
's 1888 swashbuckling romance, ''
The Black Arrow ''The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses'' is an 1888 novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. It is both a historical adventure novel and a romance novel. It first appeared as a Serial (literature), serial in 1883 with the subtitle "A Tale of Tunstal ...
'', that it was "a livelier picture of medieval times than I remember elsewhere in fiction."
Anthony Hope Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins, better known as Anthony Hope (9 February 1863 – 8 July 1933), was a British novelist and playwright. He was a prolific writer, especially of adventure novels but he is remembered predominantly for only two books: ''The ...
's 1894 ''
The Prisoner of Zenda ''The Prisoner of Zenda'' is an 1894 adventure novel by Anthony Hope, in which the King of Ruritania is drugged on the eve of his coronation and thus is unable to attend the ceremony. Political forces within the realm are such that, in ord ...
'' initiated an additional subset of the swashbuckling novel, the
Ruritanian romance Ruritanian romance is a genre of literature, film and theatre comprising novels, stories, plays and films set in a fictional country, usually in Central or Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the European continent between Western Eur ...
.


Theatre

The perceived significant and widespread role of swordsmanship in civilian society as well as warfare in the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods led to fencing being performed on theatre stages as part of plays. Soon actors were taught to fence in an entertaining, dramatic manner. Eventually fencing became an established part of a classical formation for actors.


Movie

Consequently, when movie theaters mushroomed, ambitious actors took the chance to present their accordant skills on the screen. Since silent movies were no proper medium for long dialogues, the classic stories about heroes who would defend their honour with sword in hand were simplified and sheer action would gain priority. This was the birth of a new kind of film hero: the swashbuckler. For Hollywood actors to depict these skilled sword fighters, they needed advanced sword training. Four of the most famous instructors for swashbuckling swordplay are William Hobbs,
Anthony De Longis Anthony Charles De Longis (born March 23, 1950) is an American actor, stunt double, stuntman, and Stage combat, fight choreographer. Life and career De Longis was born in Glendale, California. He attended California State University, Northridge w ...
, Bob Anderson and
Peter Diamond Peter Arthur Diamond (born , 1940) is an American economist An economist is a practitioner in the social sciences, social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics ...
. The larger-than-life heroics portrayed in some film franchise adventures (most notably the ''
Indiana Jones ''Indiana Jones'' is an American media franchise based on the adventures of Indiana Jones (character), Dr. Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones Jr., a fictional professor of archaeology, that began in 1981 with the film ''Raiders of the Lost Ark''. In ...
'' movies) set in the modern era have been described as swashbuckling.


Film

The genre has, apart from swordplay, always been characterized by influences that can be traced back to the
chivalry Chivalry, or the chivalric code, is an informal and varying code of conduct A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the norms Norm, the Norm or NORM may refer to: In academic disciplines * Norm (geology), an estimate of the idealised ...
tales of Medieval Europe, such as the legends of
Robin Hood Robin Hood is a legendary hero File:Wilhelm Tell Denkmal Altdorf um 1900.jpeg, upWilliam Tell, a popular folk hero of Switzerland. A hero (heroine in its feminine form) is a real person or a main fictional character who, in the face ...

Robin Hood
and
King Arthur King Arthur ( cy, Brenin Arthur, kw, Arthur Gernow, br, Roue Arzhur) was a Legend, legendary Celtic Britons, British leader who, according to Historians in England during the Middle Ages, medieval histories and Romance (heroic literature), ...

King Arthur
. It soon created its own drafts based on classic examples like ''The Mark of Zorro'' (1920), '' The Three Musketeers (1921)'', '' Scaramouche (1923)'' and '' The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)''. Some films did also use motifs of pirate stories. Often these films were adaptations of classic historic novels published by well-known authors such as
Alexandre Dumas Alexandre Dumas (, ; ; born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie ; 24 July 1802 – 5 December 1870), also known as Alexandre Dumas père (where '' '' is French for 'father', thus 'the elder/senior'), was a French writer. His works have been tra ...

Alexandre Dumas
,
Rafael Sabatini Rafael Sabatini (29 April 1875 – 13 February 1950) was an Italian people, Italian-English people, English writer of novels, writer of romance novel, romance and adventure novel, adventure novels. He is best known for his worldwide bestsellers ...
,
Baroness Emma Orczy Baroness Emma Orczy (full name: Emma Magdolna Rozália Mária Jozefa Borbála Orczy de Orci) (; 23 September 1865 – 12 November 1947), usually known as Baroness Orczy (the name under which she was published) or to her family and friends as Emm ...
, Sir
Walter Scott Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832), was a Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright and historian. Many of his works remain classics of European and Scottish literature Scottish literature is literatu ...

Walter Scott
,
Johnston McCulley Johnston McCulley (February 2, 1883 – November 23, 1958) was an American writer, the author of hundreds of stories, fifty novels, numerous screenplays for film and television, and the creator of the character Zorro Zorro ( Spanish fo ...
, and
Edmond Rostand Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand (, , ; 1 April 1868 – 2 December 1918) was a French poet and dramatist. He is associated with neo-romanticism and is known best for his 1897 play ''Cyrano de Bergerac (play), Cyrano de Bergerac''. Rostand's romant ...

Edmond Rostand
. Swashbucklers are one of the most flamboyant Hollywood film genres, unlike
cinema verite Cinema may refer to: Film * Cinematography, the art of motion-picture photography * Film or movie, a series of still images that create the illusion of a moving image ** Film industry, the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking * ...
or modern realistic filmmaking. The genre attracted large audiences who relished the blend of escapist adventure, historic romance, and daring stunts in cinemas before it became a fixture on TV screens. With the focus on action, adventure, and, to a lesser degree, romance, there is little concern for historical accuracy. Filmmakers may mix incidents and events from different historical eras. As a first variation of the classic swashbuckler there have also been female swashbucklers.
Maureen O'Hara Maureen O'Hara (born Maureen FitzSimons; 17 August 1920 – 24 October 2015) was an Irish actress and singer, who became successful in Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood in the Central Los Angeles, central region of Los Angeles, C ...
in ''
Against All Flags ''Against All Flags'' is a 1952 American pirate film directed by George Sherman and Douglas Sirk and starring Errol Flynn as Brian Hawke, Maureen O'Hara as Prudence "Spitfire" Stevens and Anthony Quinn as Roche Braziliano, Roc Brasiliano. The film ...
'' and
Jean Peters Elizabeth Jean Peters (October 15, 1926 – October 13, 2000) was an American actress. She is known as a star of 20th Century Fox 20th Century Studios, Inc. (also known as 20th Century for short, and nicknamed 20th Pictures, formerly Twenti ...

Jean Peters
in ''
Anne of the Indies ''Anne of the Indies'' is a 1951 Technicolor Technicolor is a series of color motion picture processes, the first version dating to 1916, and followed by improved versions over several decades. It was the second major color process, after Br ...
'' were very early action film heroines. Eventually the typical swashbuckler motifs were used up because they had so often been shown on TV screens. Later films such as ''
The Princess BrideThe Princess Bride may refer to: *The Princess Bride (novel), ''The Princess Bride'' (novel), 1973 fantasy romance novel by American writer William Goldman **The Princess Bride (film), ''The Princess Bride'' (film), 1987 American film adaptation sta ...
'', the ''
Pirates of the Caribbean ''Pirates of the Caribbean'' is a Disney media franchise encompassing numerous theme park rides, a series of films, and spin-off novels, as well as a number of related video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interact ...
'' series and ''
The Mask of Zorro ''The Mask of Zorro'' is a 1998 American swashbuckler film based on the character of the masked vigilante Zorro Zorro ( Spanish for 'Fox') is a fictional character created in 1919 by American pulp writer Johnston McCulley, and appearin ...
'' include modern takes on the swashbuckler archetype.


Television

Television followed the films, especially in the UK, with ''
The Adventures of Robin Hood ''The Adventures of Robin Hood'' is a 1938 American Technicolor swashbuckler film from Warner Bros. Pictures. It was produced by Hal B. Wallis and Henry Blanke, directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, and stars Errol Flynn, Olivia de Hav ...
'', ''
Sword of Freedom ''Sword of Freedom'' was a 1958 drama adventure series for a family audience. Like several of its predecessors (most notably ''The Adventures of Robin Hood (TV series), The Adventures of Robin Hood''), it was produced by Sapphire Films for ITC ...
'', '' The Buccaneers'', and '' Willam Tell'' between 1955 and 1960. US TV produced two series of ''
Zorro Zorro (Spanish language, Spanish for 'Fox') is a fictional character created in 1919 by American pulp magazine, pulp writer Johnston McCulley, and appearing in works set in the Pueblo of Los Angeles in Alta California. He is typically portraye ...

Zorro
'' in
1957 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day mar ...
and
1990 Important events of 1990 include the Reunification of Germany German reunification (german: link=no, Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of ...
. Following the 1998 film ''
The Mask of Zorro ''The Mask of Zorro'' is a 1998 American swashbuckler film based on the character of the masked vigilante Zorro Zorro ( Spanish for 'Fox') is a fictional character created in 1919 by American pulp writer Johnston McCulley, and appearin ...
'', a TV series about a female swashbuckler, the '' Queen of Swords'', aired in 2000.


List of characters

Famous swashbuckler characters from literature and other media include the following: * Doña María Teresa (Tessa) Alvarado/The Queen of Swords *
d'Artagnan Romances ''The d'Artagnan Romances'' are a set of three novels by Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870), telling the story of the 17th-century Musketeers of the Guard, musketeer Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan#Portrayals in fiction, d'Artagnan. Dumas based t ...
* *
Robin Hood Robin Hood is a legendary hero File:Wilhelm Tell Denkmal Altdorf um 1900.jpeg, upWilliam Tell, a popular folk hero of Switzerland. A hero (heroine in its feminine form) is a real person or a main fictional character who, in the face ...

Robin Hood
*
Peter Pan Peter Pan is a fictional character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie. A free-spirited and mischievous young boy who can fly and never grows up, Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood having adventures on the mythi ...

Peter Pan
* *
Puss in Boots "Puss in Boots" ( it, Il gatto con gli stivali) is an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, ...
* The Doctor * Athos,
Porthos Porthos, Baron du Vallon de Bracieux de Pierrefonds is a fictional character In fiction, a character (sometimes known as a fictional character) is a person or other being in a narrative (such as a novel, Play (theatre), play, television series, f ...

Porthos
, and
Aramis René d'Herblay, alias Aramis, is a fictional character In fiction Fiction is any creative workA creative work is a manifestation of creative effort including fine artwork (sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts tha ...

Aramis
* Captain Hector Barbossa *
Cyrano de Bergerac Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac ( , ; 6 March 1619 – 28 July 1655) was a French novelist, playwright, Letter (message), epistolarian, and duelist. A bold and innovative author, his work was part of the libertine literature of the first hal ...
* Sir Percy Blakeney/The Scarlet Pimpernel * Peter Blood *
John Carter of Mars John Carter of Mars is a fictional Fiction generally is a narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfictional ( memoir, biography, news report, documentary, Travel litera ...
*
Edmond Dantès Edmond Dantès () is a title character The title character in a narrative work is one who is named or referred to in the title of the work. In a performed work such as a play or film, the performer who plays the title character is said to have th ...

Edmond Dantès
(The Count of Monte Cristo) *
Ivanhoe ''Ivanhoe: A Romance'' () by Walter Scott is a historical novel published in three volumes, in 1819, as one of the Waverley novels. At the time it was written, the novel represented a shift by Scott away from writing novels set in Scotland in ...
*
Indiana Jones ''Indiana Jones'' is an American media franchise based on the adventures of Indiana Jones (character), Dr. Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones Jr., a fictional professor of archaeology, that began in 1981 with the film ''Raiders of the Lost Ark''. In ...
* Diego Alatriste *
Solomon Kane Solomon Kane is a fictional character In fiction, a character (sometimes known as a fictional character) is a person or other being in a narrative (such as a novel, Play (theatre), play, television series, film, or video game). The character may be ...
* Khlit the Cossack *
Don Juan Tenorio ''Don Juan Tenorio: Drama religioso-fantástico en dos partes'' (Don Juan Tenorio: Religious-Fantasy Drama in Two Parts) is a Play (theatre), play written in 1844 by José Zorrilla. It is the more romantic of the two principal Spanish-language li ...
*
Fandral Fandral the Dashing is a fictional character In fiction, a character (sometimes known as a fictional character) is a person or other being in a narrative (such as a novel, Play (theatre), play, television series, film, or video game). The character ...
*
Captain Harlock is a character (arts), fictional character and protagonist of the ''Space Pirate Captain Harlock'' manga series created by Leiji Matsumoto. Harlock is the archetypical Romantic hero, a space pirate with an individualist philosophy of life. He i ...
* Marco Del Monte *
Inigo Montoya Inigo Montoya is a fictional character in William Goldman's 1973 novel ''The Princess Bride (novel), The Princess Bride.'' In Rob Reiner's The Princess Bride (film), 1987 film adaptation, he was portrayed by Mandy Patinkin. In both the book and the ...
* Hiraga Saito * Andre-Louis Moreau/Scaramouche * Rudolf Rassendyll *
Dread Pirate Roberts The Dread Pirate Roberts is the identity assumed by several fictional characters in the novel ''The Princess Bride (novel), The Princess Bride'' (1973) and its 1987 The Princess Bride (film), film adaptation. Various pirates (including Westley, th ...
* Emilio Roccanera (The Black Corsair) *
Sandokan Sandokan is a fictional late 19th-century pirate Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence by ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying goods ...

Sandokan
(The Tiger of Malaysia) * Richard Sharpe * Alan Breck Stuart * Dan Tempest *
Guybrush Threepwood Guybrush Ulysses Threepwood is a fictional character who serves as the main protagonist of the ''Monkey Island (series), Monkey Island'' series of computer adventure games by LucasArts. Guybrush is voiced by actor Dominic Armato in the third, fourt ...
*
Will Turner William Turner Jr. is a fictional character in the ''Pirates of the Caribbean'' films. He appears in '' The Curse of the Black Pearl'' (2003), '' Dead Man's Chest'' (2006), '' At World's End'' (2007), and '' Dead Men Tell No Tales'' (2017). He ...
*
Elizabeth Swann Elizabeth Swann (later Elizabeth Turner) is a fictional character in the ''Pirates of the Caribbean'' film series. She appears in '' The Curse of the Black Pearl'' (2003) and three of its sequels, ''Dead Man's Chest "Dead Man's Chest" (also kno ...
*
William Tell William Tell (german: Wilhelm Tell, ; french: Guillaume Tell; it, Guglielmo Tell; rm, Guglielm Tell) is a folk hero A folk hero or national hero is a type of hero File:Wilhelm Tell Denkmal Altdorf um 1900.jpeg, upWilliam Tell, a popular ...
*
Lara Croft Lara Croft is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the video game franchise '' Tomb Raider''. She is presented as a highly intelligent and athletic English archaeologist who ventures into ancient tombs and hazardous ruins around ...
*
Zuko is a fictional character in Nickelodeon Nickelodeon (often shortened to Nick) is an American pay television Pay television also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium ...
*
Samurai Jack ''Samurai Jack'' is an American animated television series An animated series is a set of animated Animation is a method in which Image, figures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or paint ...
*
Jamie McCrimmon James Robert McCrimmon, usually simply called Jamie, is a fictional character played by Frazer Hines in the long-running British science fiction television Science fiction File:Imagination 195808.jpg, Space exploration, as predicted in Au ...
*
Quentin Durward ''Quentin Durward'' is a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott, first published in 1823. The story concerns a Scottish archer in the service of the French King Louis XI (1423–1483) who plays a prominent part in the narrative. Composit ...
*
Geralt of Rivia Geralt of Rivia ( pl, Geralt z Rivii) is a fictional character and the protagonist 200px, Shakespeare's '' Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.'' William Morris Hunt, oil on canvas, c. 1864 A protagonist () is the main character of a story. The protago ...
*
Han Solo Han Solo is a fictional character in the ''Star Wars ''Star Wars'' is an American epic Epic commonly refers to: * Epic poetry, a long narrative poem celebrating heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation * Epic film, a ge ...
*
Nathan Drake (character) Nathan Drake (born Nathan Morgan) is the protagonist 200px, Shakespeare's '' Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.'' William Morris Hunt, oil on canvas, c. 1864 A protagonist () is the main character of a story. The protagonist is at the center of the st ...
*
Conan the Barbarian Conan the Barbarian (also known as Conan the Cimmerian) is a fictional sword and sorcery hero who originated in pulp magazine, pulp magazines and has since been adapted to Conan (books), books, Conan (comics), comics, several films (including ''C ...


Actors

Actors notable for their portrayals of swashbucklers include: *
Benoît-Constant Coquelin Benoît-Constant Coquelin (; 23 January 184127 January 1909), known as Coquelin aîné ("Coquelin the Elder"), was a French actor, "one of the greatest theatrical figures of the age." Biography Coquelin was born in , . He was originally intended ...
(1841–1909), was a French
actor An actor is a person who portrays a character Character(s) may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Character'' (novel), a 1936 Dutch novel by Ferdinand Bordewijk * ''Characters'' (Theophrastus), a classical Greek set ...

actor
, and "one of the greatest theatrical figures of the age." He played "Cyrano de Bergerac" over 400 times and later toured North America in the role. * In early 1883 James O'Neill (1847–1920) took over the lead role in "The Count of Monte Cristo" at Booth's Theater in New York. His interpretation of the part caused a sensation with the theater-going public and a company was immediately set up to take the play on tour. O'Neill bought the rights to the play. "Monte Cristo" remained a popular favorite and would continue to make its appearance on tour as regular as clockwork. O'Neill went on to play this role over 6,000 times. * E. H. Sothern (1859–1933) was especially known for his heroic portrayal of Rudolph Rassendyl in the first stage adaptation of ''
The Prisoner of Zenda ''The Prisoner of Zenda'' is an 1894 adventure novel by Anthony Hope, in which the King of Ruritania is drugged on the eve of his coronation and thus is unable to attend the ceremony. Political forces within the realm are such that, in ord ...
'', which he first played in 1895.Holder, Heidi J.
"Sothern, Edward Askew (1826–1881)"
''Oxford Dictionary of National Biography'', Oxford University Press, 2004
The role made him a star. *
Douglas Fairbanks Douglas Elton Fairbanks Sr. (born Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman; May 23, 1883 – December 12, 1939) was an American actor, screenwriter, director, and producer. He was best known for his swashbuckling A swashbuckler is a genre Genre () is ...
(1883–1939) was a Hollywood movie star of the silent film era and was widely regarded as the predecessor to Errol Flynn. *
Errol Flynn Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn (20 June 1909 – 14 October 1959) was an Australian-American actor. Considered the natural successor to Douglas Fairbanks Douglas Elton Fairbanks Sr. (born Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman; May 23, 1883 – December ...

Errol Flynn
(1909–1959) was famously known for the action adventurer typified Hollywood's idea of the swashbuckler in films as '' Captain Blood'' (1935), ''
The Adventures of Robin Hood ''The Adventures of Robin Hood'' is a 1938 American Technicolor swashbuckler film from Warner Bros. Pictures. It was produced by Hal B. Wallis and Henry Blanke, directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, and stars Errol Flynn, Olivia de Hav ...
'' (1938), and ''
The Sea Hawk ''The Sea Hawk'' is a novel by Rafael Sabatini, originally published in 1915. The story is set over the years 1588–1593 and concerns a retired Cornwall, Cornish seafaring gentleman, Sir Oliver Tressilian, who is villainously betrayed by a j ...
'' (1940). *
Burt Lancaster Burton Stephen Lancaster (November 2, 1913 – October 20, 1994) was an American actor and producer. Initially known for playing tough guys with a tender heart, he went on to achieve success with more complex and challenging roles over a 45-year ...

Burt Lancaster
(1913–1994) Although he was very much an all-round actor, successful in any kind of role, he starred in two swashbuckling films ''
The Flame and the Arrow ''The Flame and the Arrow'' is a 1950 American Technicolor swashbuckler film made by Warner Bros. and starring Burt Lancaster, Virginia Mayo and Nick Cravat. It was directed by Jacques Tourneur and produced by Harold Hecht and Frank Ross (pro ...
'' (1950) and ''
The Crimson Pirate ''The Crimson Pirate'' is a 1952 American Technicolor Technicolor is a series of color motion picture processes, the first version dating to 1916, and followed by improved versions over several decades. It was the second major color process, ...
'' (1952), both produced through his own film production company
Norma ProductionsNorma may refer to: * Norma (given name), a given name (including a list of people with the name) Astronomy *Norma (constellation) *555 Norma, a minor asteroid *Cygnus Arm or Norma Arm, a spiral arm in the Milky Way galaxy Geography *Norma, Lazio, ...
. Lancaster also starred in and produced two swashbuckler-esque adventure films made in the same time-frame, ''
Ten Tall Men ''Ten Tall Men'' is a 1951 American adventure film Adventure films are a genre of film whose plots feature elements of travel. They typically involve protagonists who must leave their home or place of comfort and go to far away lands to fulfill ...
'' (1951) and ''
His Majesty O'Keefe ''His Majesty O'Keefe'' is a 1954 American adventure film Adventure films are a genre of film whose plots feature elements of travel. They typically involve protagonists who must leave their home or place of comfort and go to far away lands to ...
'' (filmed in 1952 but released in 1954). Lancaster, a former circus acrobat, was noted for performing his own stunts. *
Mikhail Boyarsky Mikhail Sergeevich Boyarsky (russian: Михаи́л Серге́евич Боя́рский; born 26 December 1949 in Leningrad Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Piter.o ...
(born 1949), who played d'Artagnan in
d'Artagnan and Three Musketeers ''D'Artagnan and Three Musketeers'' (russian: д'Артаньян и три мушкетёра, ''D'Artanyan i tri mushketera'') is a three-part swashbuckler Musical film, musical miniseries produced in the Soviet Union and first aired in 1978. It ...
and its four sequels, as well as other swashbuckler characters in historical adventure movies like
Gardes-Marines, Ahead! ''Gardes-Marines, Ahead!'' or (russian: Гардемарины, вперёд!, Gardemariny, vperyod!) is a 1988 Soviet four-series television film (mini-series), the first of a series of films about Russian Gardes-Marines of the 18th century, direc ...
, Viva Gardes-Marines!, Don Cesar de Bazan, The Dog in the Manger (play), The Dog in the Manger, The Prisoner of Château d'If, Queen Margot (TV series), Queen Margot, among others.


Sources for films

Fiction writers whose novels and stories have been adapted for swashbuckler films include: * Bernard Cornwell * Alexandre Dumas, père * Jeffery Farnol * Paul Féval, père * Théophile Gautier *
Anthony Hope Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins, better known as Anthony Hope (9 February 1863 – 8 July 1933), was a British novelist and playwright. He was a prolific writer, especially of adventure novels but he is remembered predominantly for only two books: ''The ...
* Robert E. Howard * Harold Lamb *
Johnston McCulley Johnston McCulley (February 2, 1883 – November 23, 1958) was an American writer, the author of hundreds of stories, fifty novels, numerous screenplays for film and television, and the creator of the character Zorro Zorro ( Spanish fo ...
* Baroness Orczy * Arturo Pérez-Reverte *
Edmond Rostand Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand (, , ; 1 April 1868 – 2 December 1918) was a French poet and dramatist. He is associated with neo-romanticism and is known best for his 1897 play ''Cyrano de Bergerac (play), Cyrano de Bergerac''. Rostand's romant ...

Edmond Rostand
*
Rafael Sabatini Rafael Sabatini (29 April 1875 – 13 February 1950) was an Italian people, Italian-English people, English writer of novels, writer of romance novel, romance and adventure novel, adventure novels. He is best known for his worldwide bestsellers ...
* William Goldman * Emilio Salgari * Sir Walter Scott * Samuel Shellabarger *
Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenson (born Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson; 13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist, essayist, poet and travel writer. He is best known for works such as ''Treasure Island ''Treasure Island'' (origi ...

Robert Louis Stevenson
* Michel Zevaco


See also

* Adventure novel * Cloak-and-dagger * Historical fiction * Historical fantasy * Historical novel *
Ruritanian romance Ruritanian romance is a genre of literature, film and theatre comprising novels, stories, plays and films set in a fictional country, usually in Central or Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the European continent between Western Eur ...
* Sword-and-sandal * Samurai cinema (Samurai in Japanese literature, literature) *


References


External links

* {{Stock characters Film genres Lists of stock characters Mercenaries Military history of Europe Military lists Stock characters Adventure fiction Heroic fantasy