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[[East India Company PotC|250px]]
The flag associated with the Company in the film was entirely fictional, bearing no resemblance to the Company's real-life counterpart

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The East India Trading Company, often referred to simply as the Company, is a fictionalized version of the British East India Company that serves as one of the antagonistic forces within the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. Although it was alluded to in The Curse of the Black Pearl, the Company made its first appearance in Dead Man's Chest under the supreme leadership of Lord Cutler Beckett, whose purpose in film is to eradicate piracy from world waters. Although heavily based upon the historic British East India Company, the East India Trading Company bears its uniquely designed flag, motto, trademark, and Coat of Arms, all created by the producers.

According to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, the East India Trading Company is established to regulate sea trade in the East Indies. Afterwards, the Company grows in power and comes to control much of the Indian trade. The Company has such a profound influence in British trade that a threat against the Company is taken as a threat to Great Britain itself. It is because the Company wants to expand into the Caribbean that Lord Beckett arrives at Port Royal in Dead Man's Chest, overseeing the expansion while knowing that he must eradicate piracy before making any progress. This instigates the following chain of events in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy.

Symbolically speaking, the fictional East India Trading Company is the embodiment of industrialization and imperialism, much as how the actual East India Company was, having full control over worldwide territories.


Background

Europeans were first mesmerized when European explorers returned from their expeditions in the East Indies and the Far East with goods of luxury potential. Sometime in the early 17th century, the fictitious East India Trading Co. was established in the Pirates of the Caribbean universe by English merchants who were awfully successful in sponsoring trading voyages.[1] The purpose of the Company was to regulate the merchants' trades and commercial gains throughout the East Indies.[2] Within the following years, the fictitious Company grew immensely in wealth and power, harbouring great influence in merchant trading.[3] Recognizing the Company's potential power, the King of Great Britain gave it government protection and made it the official trading company of the Kingdom (similar to England's actual trading body, the East India Company). British marines are then on supplied on board the Company's trading ships which are escorted with a Royal Navy escort; all for protection against piracy.[4]

During sometime later on, fictional character Cutler Beckett becomes a part of the East India Trading Co., and is later appointed chairman and supreme leader, as a result of which he is ennobled by the King, becoming Lord Cutler Beckett.[5] By now, the Company has reached its fullest fictitious potential in the East Indies, and turns an eye towards the Caribbean trading market.

Appearances

Dead Man's Chest

Main article: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

The fictitious East India Trading Co. makes its first appearance in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest in the opening scene to the film.[6] Thunderclaps roar in a dark and cloudy day as longboats sail shore Port Royal; the harbour is blocked off by Navy ships.[7] Lord Cutler Beckett sails to shore astride a white horse in a longboat all while the Company's flag waves in the wind and rain; symbolism of his and the Company's powerful status.[8] The marines line up ashore while Beckett's horse prances out of the boat and onto shore, riding alongside.[9] Beckett and the Company arrive in time to postpone the wedding of Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner. Beckett carries warrants of arrest for them and other characters involved in the events in The Curse of the Black Pearl; they helped set pirate Jack Sparrow free from the gallows.[10] Beckett, however, makes a deal with Will; If Will brings back Jack's compass, then Beckett will pardon Will and Elizabeth.[11] Cutler Beckett wants to employ Jack Sparrow as privateer for England and the Company with Letters of Marque signed by King George II,[12] in exchange for his compass which Beckett needs in order to find the Dead Man's Chest.[13] The Chest contains the heart of Davy Jones. Whomsoever acquires the heart may use it to control Jones through extortion, thus controlling every aspect of the seas. This would allow Beckett to exterminate piracy from the oceans, something which he desires to do most over all else.[14][15]

Later on the Pelegosto's Island, Jack Sparrow finds a paprika can branded with the East India Trading Co. trademark while its theme plays in the background, obviously showing that the Company even has a presence on a native cannibalistic island.[16] In a later scene, the merchant captain on board the Edinburgh Trader complains of the many tariffs the Company has placed upon the ship.[17] Afterwards, Beckett beckons Governor Weatherby Swann to his office in shackles (he comes from the Port Royal prison, where he was imprisoned for aiding his daughter escape).[18] Beckett tells Swann that he will offer pardon for his daughter if Swann allows Beckett to use his authority as Governor and his influence in London to aid him for the better of the Company.[19] By the end of the film, Beckett acquires the heart of Davy Jones from James Norrington.[20]

At World's End

Main article: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

The East India Trading Co. makes its final appearance in the film, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.[21] In the opening scene, a mass hanging at the gallows is seen being conducted by the Company while other people await in line to be hanged for the charge of being a pirate or being associated with one.[22] While this is happening, a Royal Navy clerk reads out that King George II has also "suspended" legal rights for those convicted.[23] During the hanging, the masses begin to sing Hoist the Colors, and the Brethren Court are called, signalling that the state of piracy is in grave danger - Beckett wants to destroy the Court to eradicate piracy in its entirety.[24] Beckett is now using the powers of Davy Jones through extortion for the benefit of the Company.[25] Jones is ordered by the Company to kill his monster, Kraken (in fear of it being used to attack the Company), and to attack pirate ships at sea with the Flying Dutchman, capturing prisoners for interrogation. Jones, by leaving none alive, antagonises Beckett[26]

Later, Beckett attempts to acquire the Black Pearl for the Company through trickery of Sao Feng, wanting to rid the pirates of the only ship which can out run the Flying Dutchman.[27] To aid the Company in destroying the pirates, Great Britain supplies the East India Trading Co. with a vast armada.[28] After Beckett makes a plan with Jack Sparrow to bring out the pirates from Shipwreck Cove, the Company arrives at the location with hundreds of ships from the Royal Navy; Davy Jones' Flying Dutchman serves as the primary flagship and Beckett's Endeavour as the secondary flagship.[29] Later on, after the epic battle between the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman within a maelstrom, Cutler Beckett becomes convinced that his Company will triumph; the Black Pearl remains by itself with the small fleet of the Brethren Court, both against the overpowering force of the Endeavour and the Company's armada.[30][31] The Flying Dutchman, however, resurfaces (now captained by Will Turner), and teams up with the Black Pearl against the Endeavour which had begun to make its way towards the Pearl. Both the Pearl and the Dutchman surround Beckett's ship-of-the-line and begin to fire non-stop. They then penetrate the ships powder magazine and blast the Endeavour apart. Lord Cutler Beckett's corpse falls onto the burnt, torn, and fallen flag of the East India Trading Co. - it has been defeated, piracy has won.[32]

Online game

Main article: Pirates of the Caribbean Online

In the online game of the series, the East India Co. serves as a main antagonistic faction. Their ships, coloured in black, roam the seas in patrol routes. Their soldiers, The Black Guard, are seen in the murkiest corners in the Caribbean up to nothing less than illegal. The stronghold of the Company is an island known as Kingshead, which is a massive fortress with even a small town in the center (inaccessible). The "assassins" of the Black Guard operate here, as well as in caves such as Thieves' Den or Beckett's Quary, often making sure that their pirate slaves are at work. Their importance in story lines is also shown to be sinister: making deals with the Undead, double-crossing others, and using the British Royal Navy as their public image. They were involved in the various explosions that shook the islands of Port Royal, Tortuga and Padres del Fuego, all for the eradicating the pirates. Their ships were increased at one time in massive numbers, as pirates took on them with their organized fleets. They allowed the Undead armies of pirate captain Jolly Roger to invade the islands. However the invasion of the island of Padres del Fuego was actually done to find out the location of mysterious lost weapons of the Conquistador El Patron. Having found its location, Cutler Beckett was said to have ordered the Company to break off all ties with the Undead, to launch massive Treasure Fleets to an island called Raven's Cove. On the island, the Black Guard and the walking skeletons clashed, murdering the citizens of the island, only to leave their bloodthirsty ghosts behind. Both factions which battled on the island received their fair share of the powerful cursed weapons. These are events in Pirates of the Caribbean Online which occur, not as quests (as in most MMOs), but as events which take place in the open world. As of now, this has been the story-usage of the EITC. The developers may bring in more of the involvement in a monthly basis, as the game's setting has unofficially found to be between Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. [33]

Attributes

Flag, trademark, and coat of arms

These are the designs for the fictitious Company in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, if you wish to view the designs of the actual Company from Great Britain, see "East India Company".

When first introduced in Dead Man's Chest, the producers ensured a feel encompassed of a powerful score and of an in-film environment to establish the East India Trading Co. as a supreme authoritative force in the Caribbean, including the use of the Company's flag.[34] The Company flag with the only colors of Navy blue and gold, bears the Company's initials "E", "I", "Co.", centralized on itself and are separated by three crosses resembling "T"'s for "Trading".[35] The insignia on the flag is also the trademark of the Company and the colors of the flag are as well the signature colors.[36] The flag is always waving atop the Company's ships' back mast. The flag is seen constantly throughout the films, stating Company presence about. Its burnt and torn state is symbolism of its defeat in the end of At World's End.[37]

The Coat of Arms of the Company are: On a field Azure three three-masted Galleys Or, rigged and under sail, with sails Argent charged with a Greek Cross Gules throughout; on a Chief Or: a Pale quarterly: 1st and 4th a Fleur-de-Lys Or on a field of Azure, 2nd and 3rd a Lion Regardant Or on a field Gules flanked by two heraldic Roses Gules seeded Or and sepaled Azure. Supporters are two heraldic Demi-Lions Or armed and langued Gules, marined Azure and finned Or maintaining a St.George's Pennant in their near hands, their far hands supporting the shield. The motto scroll in base reads Deo Ducente Nil Nocet ("When God leads [us], nothing can harm [us]"). Its merchant's mark (see Flag above) is used as its crest and is set on a torse of Azure and Or. A ribbon atop the Company's trademark bears the name, "East India Trading Co."

The Coat of Arms is seen in the second film on the bottom of a can of paprika in the Pelegosto village and a picture of it is shown in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, along with its description.[38]

Uniforms

The EITC's soldiers and sailors also have their own unique uniforms. While Beckett arrives in Port Royal with redcoated British troops in Dead Man's Chest, in At World's End, all of the men under Company command wear their own distinct uniform. It conssits of dark-blue uniforms with dark red facings (lapels, cuffs and collar of the jacket) with gold-metal buttons and gold lace / braid, black leather shoes and equipment, and a black-lacquered brass cross-belt buckle with the company logo on it.[39] This includes Murtogg and Mullroy, the two bumbling Marines from Curse of the Black Pearl who end up guarding the Dead Man's Chest in At World's End. This uniform distinguishes the villainous Company soldiers from the heroic sailors and Marines in Curse of the Black Pearl.

Trade and trading

The East India Trading Co. is the fictional official trading Company for Great Britain in the Pirates of the Caribbean universe, supplying the kingdom and other ports with goods from the Far East, East Indies, and the Caribbean.[40] Goods picked up by Company ships include: colorful silk (a luxury in the Caribbean) from the Far East; tea (for England) from the East Indies; and sugar loaves, molasses, and rum (which makes up most of the cargo) from the Caribbean.[41] Slaves have also made up for cargo among Company ships; Cutler Beckett once commanded character Jack Sparrow to sail a "cargo" to Africa from India when Sparrow was under the employ of the East India Trading Co. The East India Trading Co.'s in-universe trademark is stamped, stencilled, and painted on every box, bundle, and barrel loaded on board Company ships. The Company trademark guarantees quality goods and "discourages petty thieves."[42]

Ship officers on board Company ships are allowed to trade on their own account once the Company's business at the port they visit is completed. Though it is strictly not allowed for them to smuggle goods, they do so anyhow. Once their trading is over, many merchants and farmers line up on the dock the Company ship is moored, to load the officers' purchases.[43]

The fictional Company opts in using massive ships (such as East Indiamen) in and around India and China, partly because they supply greater amounts of goods and take longer journeys to trade.[44] As for the Caribbean, small merchant ships are the mostly used.[45] Out of the ships' financial gains, the Company takes up an amount of percentages including Port tariffs, berthing fees, wharf handling, and pilotage. The percentages are considered outrageous to the captain of the Edinburgh Trader, a vessel in the Caribbean in Dead Man's Chest.[46]

See also

*[[East India Company]] *[[Industrialization]] *[[Imperialism]]

References

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 48, "East India Trading Company"
  2. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 48, "East India Trading Company"
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 48, "East India Trading Company"
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 48, "East India Trading Company"
  5. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 44, "Lord Cutler Beckett"
  6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
  7. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 44, "Lord Cutler Beckett"
  8. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 44, "Lord Cutler Beckett"
  9. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, ch.1
  10. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, ch.19
  11. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, ch.3
  12. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 44, "Lord Cutler Beckett" (the "Letters" are pictured having "king George"'s signature, it is assumed he is the first)
  13. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, ch.3
  14. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Ch.18
  15. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 46, "Beckett's Plan"
  16. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, ch.7
  17. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, ch.14
  18. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, ch.16
  19. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Ch.16
  20. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, ch.27
  21. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
  22. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, ch.1
  23. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, ch.1
  24. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, ch.1
  25. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, ch.5
  26. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, ch.5
  27. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, ch.11
  28. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, ch.19
  29. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, ch.19
  30. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, ch.21-24
  31. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, ch.25
  32. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, ch.25
  33. Pirates of the Caribbean Online
  34. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, ch.1
  35. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 48, "East India Trading Company"
  36. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 48, "East India Trading Company"
  37. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, ch.25
  38. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 48, "East India Trading Company"
  39. Cf. this still photo from At World's End: Beckett%26Swann.jpg
  40. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 48, "East India Trading Company"
  41. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 48, "East India Trading Company"
  42. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 48, "East India Trading Company"
  43. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 48, "East India Trading Company"
  44. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 48, "East India Trading Company"
  45. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, page 48, "East India Trading Company"
  46. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, ch.14

External links

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