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Curious. Your friends appear to be quite desperate, Jack. Perhaps they no longer believe that a gathering of squabbling pirates can defeat the Flying Dutchman. And so despair leads to betrayal. And you and I are no strangers to betrayal, are we?
~ Beckett to Jack Sparrow.
It's nothing personal, Jack. It's just good business.
~ Beckett breaking his promise, also the final words of him.

Lord Cutler Beckett is one of the main antagonists of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. He serves as mentioned character in The Curse of the Black Pearl, the secondary antagonist of Dead Man's Chest, the main antagonist of At World's End and a posthumous antagonist in both On Stranger Tides and Dead Men Tell No Tales. He is also the main antagonist of the tie-in novel The Price of Freedom.

He is the ruthless head of the East India Trading Company who wants to ride the world of all pirates and control the seven seas. Despite technically being a member of the "good side" in some ways, Beckett stands up in comparison to many of his loyal soldiers due to his power-hungry and ruthless personality, ironically becoming even more dangerous as those he swore to destroy.

He was portrayed by Tom Hollander.

What Makes Him Pure Evil?

  • During his youth, Cutler Beckett used to be bullied by other children due to his intelligence and was dismissed as "weak" by his father and his brothers. The only ones who ever showed him any kind of love were his sister Jane and his mother. He was affected by his mother's death. While it can be said that Beckett had a tragic backstory, he overcame it with his cold-heartedness. When his supportive sister passed away, he didn't mourn her death as he had more important things to do despite that it was thanks to Jane's life savings that Beckett was able to settle in London, shredding his redeeming quality.
  • Sent Jack Sparrow to take the Wicked Wench to New Avalon to transport a cargo of slaves. When Sparrow discovered the slaves and released them on the island of Kerma, he ordered the Wicked Wench sunk and branded Sparrow as a pirate despite that he refused to take part in slavery.
  • Ordered the arrests of Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner on their wedding day and blackmailed Will into retrieving Jack Sparrow's compass under the threat of hanging Elizabeth, despite that she is the daughter of his old friend Governor Weatherby Swann.
  • Sent Mr. Mercer after Governor Swann due to his attempts to break Elizabeth out of prison to send her back to London, which resulted in Mercer killing Captain Hawkins and stopping Governor Swann.
  • Tried to have Captain Chevalle hanged at Port Royal.
  • Used Davy Jones' heart to blackmail Davy Jones into following his commands, including killing the Kraken, despite the creature being the last of it’s kind, giving him full control of the Flying Dutchman.
  • Initiated a campaign to eradicate piracy from the Seven Seas. While this could be seen as a noble goal given that pirates are criminals and the English just want to protect their nation, he goes far beyond than that by ordering the hanging of many people, innocent or not, due to being pirates themselves or just suspected of being pirates, including the hanging of a ten years old boy whose only crime was just being associated with pirates.
  • Sent the Flying Dutchman after many pirate vessels to obliterate them. While he becomes irritated due to Davy Jones' tendency of leaving no survivors, he just gets angry because he can't interrogate them, which leads him to appoint James Norrington to supervise Jones along with Mercer.
  • Had Governor Swann murdered as he no longer approved his orders and was close to discover the significance of the Dead Man's Chest. He lied to Norrington by telling him that Swann had returned to England. After Norrington discovered the truth, such a lie was enough for Norrington to redeem himself.
  • Offered Jack Sparrow to spare him in exchange for giving away the location of the Brethren Court, threatening to hang him if he refused.
  • Sent a small force of his soldiers to Shipwreck Island to delay the Pirate Lords as he organized his armada.
  • Ordered the Flying Dutchman to face the Black Pearl during the Battle of Calypso's maelstrom while he and his armada stayed behind.
  • Before his death, ordered his soldiers to ready the cannons of the Endeavour to destroy the Black Pearl despite his early promise with Sparrow that he would be spared, dismissing his broken promise as nothing personal but good business.
  • Cutler Beckett is a completely callous, delusional man who lacks any remorse for his crimes. While he may have some excuse for his genocidal actions against pirates by protecting England and ensuring its safety, his way of eradicating piracy is utterly ruthless, blackmailing an unkillable pirate to kill all pirates he can find and sending people to the gallows whether they are innocent or not, suspending any legal proceedings with the pretext of not wasting time and even hanging pirate children to assert his authority and the power of his company. It can be also said that his reasons to eradicate piracy are more personal given a bad experience in which he was tortured by a group of pirates, seeing them as a "species" which must be exterminated in spite that even some pirates are merciful and honorable. For Beckett, nothing is personal to him but just good business. Thus, by taking advantage of whatever he can do to achieve his goals, Beckett becomes much more dangerous than those he swore to destroy.

Trivia

  • He is arguably one of the evilest villains to appear in a Disney film, as he is one of the, if not the, only one shown successfully murdering a child on-screen, as well as being responsible for the murder of hundreds, also shown on-screen.
  • His murder of a child wouldn't have happened in real life as children convicted of crimes were usually pardoned, further proving him to be truly evil and more than just a representative of the crown doing his job.
  • In an early draft of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, it's specified that Beckett genuinely feels regretful when he orders Mercer to kill Governor Swann (perhaps due to their past friendship) to silence him about his knowledge of Davy Jones's heart. The scene in which this happened was filmed but deleted from the final cut. However, Beckett's cold tone in the cut scene doesn't seem to indicate that he doesn't want to have Swann killed. That said, as the scene was deleted, it's unknown if it's canon or not. If Beckett really felt remorse for killing Governor Swann, that would strip him from his Pure Evil status.
    • However, it is most likely that Beckett doesn't feel remorse for Governor Swann's death as when Elizabeth brings it up, he callously said "he chose his own fate" rather than stating any remorse or shame for it.

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Movies
Lord Cutler Beckett | Mr. Mercer | Blackbeard | Armando Salazar

Video Game
Jolly Roger

See Also
Disney Pure Evils

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