August 11

Hero or Villain?

For the past 5 weeks we have been studying bushrangers. They have both fascinated and baffled us, but we all agree life in Australia was hard in the times of bushranging and we can understand why some people chose this lifestyle.

Now there has been much debate between fellow classmates about the great Ned Kelly. Some of us believe that Ned was a villain through and through, killing police and stealing his way through life. On the other hand some of us believe that Ned was born into a life of crime and needed to steal to help his family after his father’s death, therefore making him a hero.

So what do you think, is Ned Kelly a hero or villain? 


Please leave us a post and let us know what you think and why….

Posted August 11, 2013 by baker2012 in category Uncategorized

130 thoughts on “Hero or Villain?

  1. annette anderson

    I think he was a villain. Yes I can see why at the time he was romanticized as a hero but on balance there is enough bad stuff that he did that it is hard to see a few good things outweighing the murders.

  2. David Selex

    Ned Kelly was a murderer. He killed in cold blood and in my opinion should be considered a villain. However, Kelly was clearly smart and a great thinker. An example of this intelligence could be his plate armour, simple and effective to a point. Modern academic understandings offer a different side to the Kelly gang and the political and social position of the day… and romantic notions of courage, something Kelly certainly had plenty of, have made him the most iconic bushranger in Australian history.

  3. Nadia Tomarchio

    I believe Ned Kelly is a Villain, yes he did save a boy from drowning but he killed 3 police man and wounded so many others that i think he is a villain.

  4. Ann Aylmer

    Well, this is hard one! A lot of people believe that Ned was not given a fair trial and that he was a victim of a vicious system and that Ned only killed in self defence . Maybe he was a victim of his environment , police harassment and that his last wish was that the police set his beloved Mother free as she was jailed for crime she did not commit. So just maybe he was hero, to his Mum at the very least.

  5. David Aylmer

    Ned did some good things but lots of bad things – robbed banks, murdered policemen, held 47 people hostage, tried to derail a train full of passengers – definitely a villain!

  6. Will Heanue

    From what I have read I believe that Ned Kelly grew up in a poor family who engaged in criminal activity to get by, and, therefore Ned was always going to be a person of interest to the police. Ned and his family probably were harassed by the police but I don’t think this excuses the types of crimes he became involved with. The plotting behind the murder of Aaron Sheritt and the plan to derail the police train to Glenrowan make him a villain in my opinion.

  7. Mary Walshe

    I think he was a hero because he did’nt really mean too kill and he should have been charged for manslaughter instead of death.

  8. Luke Ryan

    My opinion is inconclusive because he was recognised for saving Richard Shelton from drowning but he was known to be devious for robbing and killing policemen.

  9. Denise Birrell

    Well, Angus and Kate’s projects and speeches have certainly taught me more about Ned Kelly than I ever knew before!!!
    So from my initial perspective of Ned Kelly as a ruthless villain and murderer, I have come to learn of the more humane side of this man who saved a drowning boy, was extremely protective and loving toward his mother and siblings and whose motives were to help poor families like his own.
    Whilst we can’t condone his killings , his actions seem to me to be somewhat heroic.

  10. Sue Ryan

    Ned is not a real villain because when he killed, it was in self defence and for others.

    Although, on the other hand, robbing banks and stealing from others are acts of being a villain.

  11. baker2012 (Post author)

    Well it seems we are starting to get a few people on the ‘hero’ side of our question.

    I’ve decided not to sit on the fence anymore after our DVD today. I now believe Ned Kelly was a hero!

    Whilst killing people isn’t the way to go about getting your point across we seem to call people who chose to go to war heroes. Yes, it is true they are fighting for our country but so was Ned. He was fighting for social justice and equality for the poorer Australian settlers who were wronged by both the Government of the time and the police.

    Ned had the opportunity to start a full blown war that night in Glenrowan but instead escaped the hotel to tell his army of sympathizers to go home so they wouldn’t end up in the line of fire. At that moment he could also have chosen to ran off and look after himself but instead he stayed loyal to his gang and went back to fight, unlike other bushrangers we have read about!

    Whilst Ned Kelly didn’t go about it the right way, I believe he was a social justice advocate of his time who only wanted equality for all and to me that is both brave and heroic!

  12. zmolino

    i think ned was a villan because he killed 3 people and taking another human life is the worst thing possible.
    this was from stephen.

    miss baker stephen does not have a email.

  13. kathy smurf

    I think he is both due to my public speaking He did save lots of people and save Richard Shelton 32 thousand people did sign the paper. Then he did kill lots of people including and the Glenrowan shot out the last stand. And he killed three policeman at Stringybark creek so I think he is both Hero and Villain. 🙂 🙂

  14. Georgie Cannata

    I think Ned Kelly was a villain because he stole and killed several people. However life in Melbourne in the old days was very difficult. Many people suffered poverty and many of the rich people at the time were not giving to the poor and needy. So in order to survive Ned Kelly stole and gave lots to the poor. But I think killing police officers was a serious crime. Rich people also have the right to feel safe. Maybe committing crimes to survive wasn’t the answer?

  15. Paris P

    I think that Ned was a hero because he saved a young boy, gave money to the poor and more. I also think Ned was a villain because he killed 3 policemen, robbed people and more. I think he is both.

  16. Jeff

    Ned Kelly is a villain as one should never kill or steal from other people. He could have given money to the poor by working hard instead.

  17. John H

    Although Ned Kelly is regarded as some what of a hero, he was responsible for many serious crimes , including murder and therefore I believe he is a villian

  18. bethany4

    I think that Ned Kelly was a hero because he had a poor family and tried to do what was right for everyone.

  19. katiec10

    i think that Ned Kelly was a villian. yes, he was poor. but that is no excuse for robbing and murdering. that was other peoples money he took. he even stole someone’s life.

  20. Totally AWESOME Tereza

    I have no idea how to put posts up so I’m going to do my homework HERE!!

    Bushrangers HEROES or VILLAINS?

    In my opinion Ned Kelly neither heroes or villains. He hasn’t done anything heroic (I believe he has been “romanticisedz”) into a hero. But he isn’t exactly a villain either. He was just desperate and poor. He can’t survive by making his own money so he changed his life to crime. Also many of the people in Australia then were convicts, so stealing hadn’t been a new thing for him.

    This is why I believe Ned Kelly (and all bushrangers) are people who chose a life of crime instead of working hard and earning their own money.

  21. nick7

    Ned kelly is a Hero because he stole from the rich and gave most of it to the poor I know he killed people but he only killed them in self defence and he also needed the money to keep himself and his family alive.
    Thats why I think Ned Kelly is a HERO!!!!

    From Nick Cleland

  22. bruce beaney

    i recon Ned was a hero and Villain because he killed three policemen butt he did save a boy from drowning

  23. Mary Jeffs

    I feel that Ned Kelly is a man that through circumstances, felt the need to support his family and thus turned to crime to help them in this regard.

    He has no excuse for his crimes but times in those days were very difficult. Many people now regard him as a cult hero.

  24. Emily Ryan

    Ned Kelly did some terrible things in his lifetime but we can not entirely label him as a villain. Yes, he took lives away but his intentions of helping his own family were valid. This does not however, make him a hero, though his bravery and courage are admirable qualities, that we can learn from today.

  25. Monique Ryan

    In my resent research I have learnt many interesting facts and opinions surrounding Ned Kelly and his historical life. When deciding if this famous bushranger is a hero or villain, there is only one answer for me.

    Although, Ned Kelly was continually defending his family and working for social justice I do believe the severe actions he took does not excuse him.
    The seriousness of his robberies and murders are acts that reflect a true villain.
    Whether you have correct intentions while performing such criminal acts, it is fair that he could not be excused. If everyone were allowed to act in such violent and unjust ways, our country would not be a safe and fair home.

    In my believes, I think a less severe penalty would have been sufficient. Ned Kelly did not go out in a memorable way.

  26. Georgia Beardsley

    I believe that Ned Kelly did do some good things but on the other hand he did kill innocent people and break the law so therefore i do believe he was a villan.

  27. Bryan Mueller

    I think that Ned Kelly is neither a hero or a villain because sometimes there is both good and bad in what people do. Ned Kelly did some bad things but he thought there were good reasons for doing them, like helping his family and friends who were not getting a fair go from the government and the police.

  28. Francesca Coloretti

    I believe that Ned Kelly is a true villian. Although he saved a young boy from drowning, he committed crimes including stealing and murder.

  29. Luke Hayward

    Ned Kelly is generally considered a villain, but in other cases people would consider him a hero, it just depends on what perspective you take.

    I’d say he is looked upon in a heroic way for fighting the justice system and showing courage, strength and a ability to resist laws through making his own lifestyle, with separate beliefs, attitudes and values.

    On the flip-side, the police saw him as a dangerous individual, especially when combined with his gang, who looted banks, intercepted trade goods on their transportation routes and killed numerous people with little reasoning. Ned was a wanted criminal and there was a large sum of money put out as a bounty.

  30. Charlotte Hayward

    I believe ned Kelly’s a hero because he helped those that were less fortunate even though it did mean stealing from the rich I believe that he had the best intentions

  31. Jade Smarrelli

    I think Ned Kelly is a villain because he broke the law by doing so many horrible things that he shouldn’t have done. Jade (Lara’a Auntie)

  32. Maurice Smarrelli

    I strongly believe that Ned Kelly is a villain because he killed 3 police man and another boy. This defenetily isn’t something that a hero would do so that’s why Ned is a villain.

  33. Ruby George

    To me I think that Ned Kelly is a hero and villan because he saved a boy from drowning and helped his family and many more in poverty even if he did steal it was not from the poor it was from the rich and he didn’t Lille the three police the other group members did too and then poor old Ned gets the blame. The reason why I think he is also a villan is because he put people’s lives in danger like at the last stand when he had all the people hostage and the police started to shoot at the kelly gang and killed little kids in the hotel.

    By Ruby George

  34. Jemuttai mueller

    I think ned Kelly is a more a hero than a villain because he saved a boys life but her did also stole and robed from the rich and banks by most this money he gave to the poor .

  35. Josie Roker

    I think Ned Kelly was a villain.

    Yes, he saved a boy from drowning. But most of all he shot 3 policemen and was always taking things for himself.


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