In a recent conversation with fellow blogger, Benson, we discussed actor Errol Flynn, who often played daring and dauntless characters, ripe with resourcefulness, chivalry, and swordfighting skills. He is remembered as the consummate swashbuckler. A biography of Flynn is even titled Portrait of a Swashbuckler.
Not to be outdone, the biography series of Douglas Fairbanks, The Great Swashbuckler, features scenes of him in iconic swashbuckling roles such as The Three Musketeers. Watch him get his swashbuckle on.
I fear the term is going by the wayside, and this has to stop. Per wikipedia, the word swashbuckler generally describes a protagonist who is heroic and idealistic to the bone and who rescues damsels in distress. His opponent is typically characterized as the dastardly villain.
I have never gone in for romance novels, was never tempted by colorful covers of longhaired Fabios and heaving bosoms beneath torn bodices. But it’s not hard to understand why a woman would enjoy fantasizing about an honorable, courageous hero, eager to defeat evil as well as capture her
I did, however, see The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Princess Bride, the latter in my formative years, which left a generation of adolescent girls seeking their own Farm Boy-turned-dueling Dread Pirate Roberts, who would say, “As you wish” to their every desire. What lady wouldn’t want that?
One need not read to deeply into it to determine the suggestiveness of a hero who is good with his sword. And I do believe Robin Hood is quoted as saying, “Rise and rise again.”
So are there any modern day swashbucklers? Captain Jack Sparrow in the recent Pirates of the Carribbean franchise with his pirate swaggah, could pass for a swashbuckler. One might even argue that Indiana Jones played a cocky swashbuckler, engaging in daring and romantic adventures, although he lacked the ostentatious bravado. And the mustache.
In any event, the swashbuckling archetype, driven nearly into extinction after its overexposure in movies and mid-century TV shows, is due for re-entry.