“All of Us are ahabs”: captain ahab, captain flint, and the Monomaniacal Sea Captain’s Violence of Influence

This essay explores the intricate camaraderie of sailors — dependent on the community-building activity of yarning — aboard both whaling and pirate vessels, arguably the most violent iterations of seafaring in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A comparative analysis of two significant instances of on-deck violence exposes how both captains encourage the onset of violence within the microcosms of their ships. Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick and the 2014 Treasure Island-inspired maritime drama Black Sails, created by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine for the Starz network, serve as case studies for this investigation. I suggest that in welcoming violence aboard with open arms, the antagonistic captains of each narrative —Captain Ahab and Captain Flint, respectively — corrupt the tenuous sense of harmony that these vessels depended upon to remain fruitful in their chosen endeavors. Broaching this crucial outer wall of the maritime custom exposes the underbelly of another significant tradition, yarning, and renders the tradition vulnerable to their further corrupting influence. I propose that each captain’s power of persuasion — their skill to cast a yarn that becomes sinister in its compulsion — reveals a significant intertextual relationship between Moby-Dick and Black Sails that demands critical attention. By suggesting that Ahab and Flint have both drunk from the same cup, these representations of monomaniacal visions in mariners offer scrutiny of the image of the heroic sea captain in maritime fiction as a whole.


Creative vignette that explores the agony of volatile, passionate love amidst a tempestuous natural setting.

Boston Marathon Bombing

Opinion piece dedicated to the athletes who lost their lives at the 2013 Boston Marathon in the wake of a violent attack.

The Ballad of the Sea King

Ballad inspired by the Swedish folktale “Agneta and the Sea King” exploring themes of burgeoning female sensuality and the dynamic of power in love.

Revenant Narratives and the Representation of demonic lovers in english gothic ballads

This article explores the ways in which various representations of the Demon-Lover challenge traditional conceptions of this ballad type through a comparison of three English Romantic ballads: Anne Bannerman’s “The Dark Ladie,” Matthew Lewis’s “The Water-King,” and William Taylor’s “Ellenore.” I contend that it is more significant to understand this ballad type as symbolic of victimization and power, not exclusively in a gendered way, but as a representation of the Romantic Gothic impulse to revive older forms of narrative. However, that which is dead cannot return to life unharmed; while it may carry traces of its former self, it is unnatural and arguably horrific.

Greystone Custom Homes

Content writing and editing project showcasing the work of a family-owned custom home builder in mid-Michigan.

Waterloo hunt club newsletter

Editor, contributor, and designer of the Waterloo Hunt Club newsletter, which profiles the activities of an equestrian club in Grass Lake, Michigan.