Of Captain Mission and His Crew

by Daniel Defoe

In much the same manner and at the same time that John Gay was satirizing Walpole's government in The Beggar's Opera, Defoe began to use his pirates as a commentary on the injustice and hypocrisy of contemporary English society. Among Defoe's gallery of pirates are Captain White, who refused to rob from women and children; Captain Bellamy, the proletarian revolutionist; and captain North, whose sense of justice and honesty was a rebuke to the corruption of government under Walpole. But the fictional Captain Misson, the founder of a communist utopia, is by far the most original of these creations.


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