more than 600 years, the adventures of Robin Hood have been
celebrated in stories, poems, ballads, and motion pictures. Some of
the ballads date as far back as the fourteenth century.
Hood was a legendary hero of
medieval England. He led an outlaw band called the Merry Men in
daring forest adventures. He was a rebel, who along with his
band members killed representatives of authority, robbed the rich,
and gave the gains to the poor. Their most frequent enemy was the
Sheriff of Nottingham, a local agent of the central government who
is frequently depicted as a
dastardly and greedy law officer. Robin’s other enemies
included wealthy ecclesiastical landowners. Robin treated women, the
poor, and people of humble status with courtesy. He was always ready
to help anyone of honor. Much of the impetus for his revolt against
authority apparently stemmed from popular resentment over the laws
of the forest that restricted hunting rights.
stories of Robinhood are typically set in the England of the
twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Most of the
events take place in or near Sherwood Forest. Early stories depict
him as a simple highway robber trying to avoid being caught.
However, later stories show him as one wrongly denied of his title.
The ballads and other stories on Robin Hood celebrate his courage,
generosity, skill in archery and comic flair. In
fact, in many of the stories, the king enters the forest in disguise
to capture him but is won over by Robin’s honorable ways and
John (who is a big built man), Friar Tuck (a travelling priest) and
Will Scarlet, an outlaw are the important members of Robin’s band.
In some versions, Robin is depicted with tender feelings. He falls
in love with a young woman named Maid Marian.
attempts have been made by historians and writers to prove that
Robin Hood was a historical figure. Some people believe that he was
Robert Fitzooth, the earl of Huntington. Some others believed that
he belonged in to the time of King Richard.
that believe that he was created by medieval writers claim that the
stories, poems and ballads were written for historical and cultural
reasons. As it happened, in medieval England, peasant masses
struggled to make a meager living, while a relatively small number
of nobles and members of the church elite controlled the country’s
land and wealth. The stories represented people’s discontent with
overbearing government authorities, dishonest church officials, laws
restricting hunting and farming rights, and other social injustices.
It is a reflection of popular aspirations during a particularly
turbulent era, one, which ended with the Peasants' Revolt of 1381.
The achievements of Robin Hood were something that probably gave the
people vicarious pleasure and it appealed to the common masses.
or not he really existed, Robin Hood and the stories of his
adventures have fascinated writers for centuries. Many well-known
writers have written on the legendary hero (or anti-hero). During
the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, writers like Sir Walter
Scott and poet John Keats have reveled in the relating the exploits
of Robin Hood.