There be one pirate that struck fear into all men and women throughout the Caribbean and the colonies in the early 18th Century above all others, the infamous Blackbeard!
Also known as Edward Teach or Edward Thatch, Blackbeard is easily the most notorious pirate when we look through history n' media. He is very recognizable because of his moniker n' his reputation as a hellish, savage man. One may not suspect it, but the persona of Blackbeard may have been driven more by playing a part than Teach being a savage brute himself.
Someone like Blackbeard would be expected to maintain discipline through the use of brute force, but Teach was actually a very shrewd, calculating leader. He would dress from head to toe in black clothing, and use fire and smoke effects on himself with the express purpose of intimidation. And yet, he commanded his own crews and ships with the respect, n' permission of his crews.
Fer pirates across history, the idea of actually fightin' a bloody battle is actually unappealing fer multiple reasons. Ye would not want to damage any potential plunder, n' ye would certainly not wish to put yarself at risk! Believe it or not, most pirates were likely normal people who also had no desire to kill someone unless they had to.
Most pirates would want a ship to surrender rather than fight. So nowadays we see Blackbeard as a master the art of intimidation n' theatricality. He used his talents and strategy to strike fear into people's hearts to get what he want, as a distinct preference to torture or violence.
There be no actual accounts of him murdering a prisoner or captive, so violence fer the sake of violence would have been rather out o' character we predict. In a business of calculatin' n' clever businessmen, we suspect he was one o' the most famous.
When ye be lookin' at Blackbeard just remember, he's a hell of an actor!