Although only slightly factual in historical setting, the legends of Robin Hood have captivated the imaginations of young and old alike through the charming stories concerning the characters of Sherwood Forest.
Through critical analysis and research concerning the legends and characters surrounding Robin Hood, this paper will present the theme of social justice for the common man as purported by the Merry Men of Sherwood Forest.
The tale of Robin Hood has evolved into one of the greatest legends of all time and has fascinated the minds of all who have heard about it. The stories surrounding Robin Hood and his adventures took place in the forests of Sherwood and Barnsdale dating back to the fifteenth century. The first question that comes to mind when dealing with this legend is who was the real Robin Hood? Amazingly, speculation regarding this question still exists today and the tale has survived more than seven hundred years. Now the real question has to be why is this “Robin Hood” such a fixating topic?
Since there is such controversy over the real Robin Hood, for the most part he is a fictional character. He has now been adapted to a man of the movies where every director has a different vision of who he might have been. Their vision was usually of a heroic figure even though he could have more easily been considered a villain for what he did for a living. “…the image of Robin as a clever, lighthearted prankster gained strength. The tales in which he appeared as a highway robber and murderer were forgotten or rewritten” (Wickersham 12). It has a gotten to a point where now every child has a heroic vision of Robin Hood whereas the early ballads and oral tradition tell a much different story. No matter how people look at it, he was still an outlaw who broke the law even if what he did was considered the right thing to do at the time.
If Robin Hood was an outlaw who did not obey the law, then why was he viewed as a heroic character? The answer was that he stood for the common man. He was a people’s hero and a champion of the poor. Anthony Pollard reveals Robin Hood’s reasoning for robbing the rich and giving to the poor is his book Imagining Robin Hood. He explains that “He does not rob the rich to give to the poor. He robs from the undeserving and helps the deserving” (4). Robin Hood is considered a fictional character but the impact his legends had on our society is very real, and will influence generations form many years to come.
THE REAL ROBIN HOOD
When dealing with the fictional character of Robin Hood, it is easy to get lost in the fantasy of his tale because of the additions to the story through oral tradition over the years. However, there was a real- life Robin Hood who was much different than what twentieth century cinemas portrayed him as being. The real Robin Hood was born at Locksley in the county of Nottingham during the reign of Henry II. ...