Thomas Shelby Character Study
One of the most intriguing characters to feature in any series, Thomas Shelby, or Tommy to his friends and family, is performed by the incredibly brilliant Cillian Murphy and serves as the centerpiece of the program “Peaky Blinders.” He and his family, and their ascent to power under Tommy’s guidance, are the center of the whole narrative.
However, this British gangster’s calm and systematic approach to running his empire, which is consistent with Niccol Machiavelli’s teachings on how a good ruler must rule, as best exemplified in his literary work the “prince,” is what makes him such a compelling character despite being arguably one of the least heroic protagonists out there, bordering on being worse than the villains in most shows.
Character Development 1890–1919- Arthur and Mrs. Shelby welcomed Thomas Michael Shelby into the world in 1890. He has an older brother named Arthur Shelby, with whom he grew up in a very close relationship. He was born on a barge called “The January.” John, Ada, and Finn Shelby were the third set of children Thomas’ parents had throughout the years.
Thomas and all of his siblings are full-blooded Gypsies because their parents were Gypsies. Polly Gray, Thomas’ paternal aunt, suggests that the Lee Family is related to the Shelby Family through their mother.
Living- With his five siblings and his aunt Polly, he was residing in post-World War I Birmingham, England. The Shelbys had a full schedule and a packed house. To strengthen their position inside the city, “Tommy” and his relatives, who are significant members of the Peaky Blinders, a local criminal organization, must negotiate the perilous social terrain.
Occupation- Peaky Blinders’ boss. Despite being older and more physically powerful than his brother Arthur, Tommy is smart and proactive. He will do whatever it takes to rule since he is unhappy with the way the organization is now operating. His gang members applaud his heroic efforts: “Tommy has given our family strength and power. To survive, you must be just as evil as they are.
Interests- These include drinking, gambling, and smoking. Thomas Shelby enjoys the conventional pastimes of a mobster from practically any age. He has a tumbler of whiskey in his hand and smokes a cigar while conducting business.
Relationship Status- Unattached to his weaknesses are warmth and romanticism. Tommy is not interested if the connection is not strategic.
Challenges- the difficulty of maintaining power. Organized crime is encountering some serious opposition thanks to the advent of Major Campbell, a police chief inspector, and Sir Winston Churchill’s never-ending surveillance. It won’t be simple for Tommy and his Peaky Blinders to evade the crackdown, though.
Personality- Stoic, analytical, and ambitious personality. You don’t want to mess with Tommy. Everyone in the neighborhood knows it is not a good idea to “look at Tommy Shelby the wrong way.”
The Prince’s Morality and character traits to learn
Personifying each of these qualities is Thomas Shelby. Tommy has practically limitless ambition. He and his empire reach heights of wealth and power throughout the series that are beyond what most people can imagine. And he accomplishes this by outwitting his adversaries, always having a clear idea of how events will unfold, frequently planning several steps, and coercing his allies, adversaries, and family into doing what he wants.
We observe Tommy dealing with his PTSD from his service in World War One throughout the series, but this is solely for our eyes. Even to his closest family members, he seldom ever displays this vulnerability. Additionally, he frequently exhibits crueler behavior than is necessary when enforcing strict regulations and punishments throughout his dominion.
His unabashed character is another thing that makes him a terrifying person. Tommy can maintain his cool under extraordinary circumstances, such as when weapons are pointed at him at point-blank range, which helps him retake control of the situation.
Shake the devil’s hand before stepping past him- There’s no advocating moral ambiguity or suggesting that it is the key to success. But maintaining flexibility is beneficial. Leave your issues at the door, work with people even if they could come after you the following day and attempt to kill you, and simply have backup plans in case that happens.
You’ll stay alive via paranoia- The “advantage” that successful people frequently possess over regular people is just a type of paranoia. It will also keep you alive. Never let yourself become too cozy. Always be alert, use caution, conduct thorough research, and consider all potential perspectives. Compulsive behavior’s propensity for repetition may one day come to your rescue.
Think larger because “enough” is never “enough”- Racetracks? Too little. Manufacturing facilities? Too little. Everything in Birmingham? Not nearly enough. Small-town taverns, a few police officers on your payroll, and just a partial assurance that no one will run up on you are not what you want. You want contracts for military defense, the defense provided by Winston Churchill. You desire a violent takeover of London. You want to travel to the US with gin boxes. You want to hold a political position that makes you entirely untouchable. Every hired pistol, knife, and piece of wire should be under your control. To surpass God in wealth is your goal. You shouldn’t say “enough” until after you’ve been dropped to the earth in an ivory coffin.
Never lose focus on the important issues and never apologize for your achievement-
All of this is ultimately meaningless if you don’t have someone to share it with. Stick by your loved ones and create a tight family wherever you are. Even close enough to strike from a distance. More importantly, don’t ever apologize for what you’ve accomplished. It is legally yours. According to Tommy Shelby himself.
Tommy Shelby is one of the most interesting characters in any show today. He has a calculating and methodical approach to almost everything he does, which is most evident when you consider that his gang members are more loyal to him than they are to their own families.
He leverages this loyalty to achieve his goals in both a very practical way and in accordance with his Machiavellian philosophy on the ruling. His downfall will surely be interesting to watch unfold throughout three seasons that have already been filmed.