Ned Kelly-Hero or Villain?

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  • Topic: Crime, Ned Kelly, Police
  • Pages : 2 (651 words )
  • Download(s) : 2131
  • Published : October 1, 2012
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Edward Ned Kelly was Australia’s most famous bushranger; regarded by many as a hero who fought “for the rights of the battler.” Whether Ned Kelly was a hero, however, has been debated throughout Australia’s history. Evidence shows that Ned was a murderous villain who terrorised towns and robbed wealthy pastoralists; a man who broke the law and committed an array of crimes that were both evil and immoral. Ned Kelly was a villain; an outlaw and thief who is wrongly immortalised as an Australian hero.

Ned Kelly was the leader of a lawbreaking group of criminals named the ‘Kelly Gang;’ a group established in 1876 that included Ned, his brother Dan, and their two friends Steve Hart and Joe Byrne. Ned was a significant figure in this gang; constantly plotting and scheming against the policemen who rightly ostracized Ned for his crimes within the community. Ned had “the first of his many run-ins with the police” at the age of only 14 when he was jailed for six months on the charge of assault. He was then sentenced to “three years hard labour for being part of a horse-stealing operation.” Although he was a brave, courageous and loyal “wild colonial boy,” his total disregard for the law shows his evil traits and villainous demeanour; his vengeful nature causing him to commit dangerous crimes against civilians.

One of Ned Kelly’s most infamous crimes was “the police siege of the Kelly Gang in the Glenrowan Hotel”; an offence where Ned’s retribution led him to put the lives of innocent people at risk. This event was a ploy by the Kelly Gang that occurred on the 27th of June, 1880. Ned and his gang ordered 60 hostages into the Glenrowan Hotel in an attempt to trap the police and use them as hostages to get Ned’s mum, Ellen, out of prison. This crude act of malevolence shows the sinister aspect of Ned’s morality during this time. Even though he was driven to this grievous act by the ferocity and sometimes unlawful behaviour of the police, his actions cannot be...
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