Treasure Island

Captain Smollett Character Analysis

The captain hired by Squire Trelawney to head the Hispaniola, Smollett is stern and strict. Immediately he is suspicious of the sea voyage, partly because he hasn’t been in charge of everything, but partly because he (rightly) senses that some subterfuge is afoot. At first, Jim despises Smollett, who seems bent on ruining his fun, but after Jim learns of Long John Silver’s treachery, the captain can suddenly be seen in a much better light. For the rest of the book he is a dependable ally, though by being wounded he loses his ability to guide the enemies of the pirates directly.

Captain Smollett Quotes in Treasure Island

The Treasure Island quotes below are all either spoken by Captain Smollett or refer to Captain Smollett. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Treasure Island published in 1999.
Chapter 20 Quotes

“Now you’ll hear me. If you’ll come up one by one, unarmed, I’ll engage to clap you all in irons, and take you home to a fair trial in England. If you won’t, my name is Alexander Smollett. I’ve flown my sovereign’s colours, and I’ll see you all to Davy Jones. You can’t find the treasure. You can’t sail the ship—there’s not a man among you fit to sail the ship. You can’t fight us—Gray, there, got away from five of you. Your ship’s in irons, Master Silver; you’re on a lee shore, and so you’ll find. I stand here and tell you so; and they’re the last good words you’ll get from me; for, in the name of heaven, I’ll put a bullet in your back when next I meet you. Tramp, my lad. Bundle out of this, please, hand over hand, and double quick.”

Related Characters: Captain Smollett (speaker), Long John Silver, Abraham Gray
Page Number: 107-108
Explanation and Analysis:

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Captain Smollett Character Timeline in Treasure Island

The timeline below shows where the character Captain Smollett appears in Treasure Island. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9. Powder and Arms
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
...and they greet the mate, Mr. Arrow, as well as a sharp, angry-looking man, Captain Smollett. Smollett declares that he doesn’t like the trip, the men, or the officer. In response... (full context)
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Smollett has overheard talk of treasure, which doesn’t please him, and he is upset at not... (full context)
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Then Captain Smollett says he’s heard that they have a map of the island where the treasure chest’s... (full context)
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Jim is pleased with the ship’s new arrangement, following Smollett’s requests, which will allow him a berth to himself. As Jim is examining the ship’s... (full context)
Chapter 10. The Voyage
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Captain Smollett and Squire Trelawney fail to hide their mutual dislike. Still, the Hispaniola sails well, and... (full context)
Chapter 11. What I Heard in the Apple Barrel
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
...of Israel Hands, who asks how long they’ll to lie in wait—he’s sick of Captain Smollett. But Silver tells him not to act until he gives the word—they need someone to... (full context)
Chapter 12. Council of War
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
...out of the barrel and reappears on deck, joining the others and listening to Captain Smollett’s orders. The captain asks if anyone’s seen this island before. Silver says that the best... (full context)
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
...goes to the doctor and asks him for a private conference with the squire and Smollett. Dr. Livesey agrees, but first the captain draws all the hands on deck and congratulates... (full context)
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...Silver is a remarkable man for managing the crew with no signs of mutiny. Captain Smollett says they can’t turn back now, and besides, only a few honest crewmen seem to... (full context)
Chapter 13. How My Shore Adventure Began
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
Silver is the only cheerful one, as if he’s masking the others’ discontent. Jim, Smollett, the squire, and the doctor reconvene in the cabin that evening. Smollett proposes they allow... (full context)
Chapter 16. Narrative Continued by the Doctor: How the ship Was Abandoned
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
This section is narrated by Dr. Livesey, who describes how he, Smollett, and the squire wondered if they could conquer the six pirates left on the Hispaniola... (full context)
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Meanwhile Smollett tells Hands, who has stayed aboard, not to make any signal or he’ll be killed.... (full context)
Chapter 17. Narrative Continued by the Doctor: The Jolly-boat’s Last Trip
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...Dr. Livesey can’t manage to keep the boat going straight towards the stockade (the log-house). Smollett tells the doctor they must continue upstream, otherwise they can’t know where they’ll end up.... (full context)
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
Smollett asks Trelawney to pick off Hands: he shoots, but just at that moment Hands stoops... (full context)
Chapter 18. Narrative Continued by the Doctor: End of the First Day’s Fighting
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...he does. He asks for a prayer to be read, and soon after dies. Meanwhile, Smollett has been busying himself with setting up the house, but he’s been watching Redruth as... (full context)
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
Smollett asks for volunteers to uncover the stores from the jolly-boat: Gray and Hunter volunteer themselves,... (full context)
Chapter 19. Narrative Resumed by Jim Hawkins: The Garrison in the Stockade
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...to fetch firewood, and so on. At one point, Dr. Livesey confides in Jim that Smollett is a better man than he is. (full context)
Chapter 20. Silver’s Embassy
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
Outside the stockade it’s just Silver and another pirate. Smollett tells the others to stay inside, as it could well be a trick, and to... (full context)
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
...up the knoll to the log-house. When Silver asks why he won’t be let inside, Smollett declares that he can either be an honest ship-cook or “Cap’n Silver,” a mutineer and... (full context)
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Silver says that all the pirates want is the treasure, while Smollett and the others presumably want to save their lives. He demands that the captain give... (full context)
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
Smollett, in turn, says that if the pirates surrender unarmed, he’ll take them back to England... (full context)
Chapter 21. The Attack
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
When Smollett turns back inside, only Gray is still at his post, and while he’s pleased with... (full context)
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Captain Smollett tells Jim to eat his breakfast, and everyone to have some brandy. He directs each... (full context)
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...entrance. He and two others race into the log-house, and cries of confusion ring out. Smollett cries that they should go out and fight in the open. Jim grabs a knife,... (full context)
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
Hunter is motionless, stunned; Joyce is dead, shot through the head; and Smollett is wounded. But the captain rejoices to hear that five of the enemy have been... (full context)
Chapter 22. How My Sea Adventure Began
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...One more of the pirates, who had been wounded, dies, leaving only eight left. Captain Smollett is also wounded: his wounds are serious but not fatal, requiring weeks of rest. Dr.... (full context)
Chapter 27. “Pieces of Eight”
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...rescuing the ship for his men (despite his sneaky behavior). He hopes that even Captain Smollett might forgive him. In high spirits, he sets off for the log-house, passing by where... (full context)
Chapter 30. On Parole
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
...he can’t truly blame him, but it was cowardly for him to slip off while Smollett was unwell. Jim begins to cry, saying that he’s blamed himself enough: he’s willing, now,... (full context)
Chapter 33. The Fall of a Chieftain
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
...is against his duty, not something to be thanked for. Inside the cave lies Captain Smollett, resting, and surrounded by heaps of coins and gold—the treasure that had cost the lives... (full context)
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
Courage, Adventure, and Pragmatism Theme Icon
Captain Smollett tells Jim that he’s done well, but that neither of them should go to to... (full context)
Chapter 34. And Last
Fortune and Greed Theme Icon
Father Figures and “Becoming a Man” Theme Icon
Deception, Secrecy, and Trust Theme Icon
...men who had left. Jim ends by relating how each man spent his fortune: Captain Smollett retired from the sea; Gray saved his money and became an owner of a ship... (full context)