Robin Hood

In the high medieval period the legends of Robin Hood began to abound!    The tale centered on Robin of Locksley who was a nobleman who had been on Crusade with Richard the Lionheart.    Robin came back to England to find that John, Richard’s brother, had become King in his absence.   As someone loyal to the wrong King Robin Hood is in a precarious situation.

He takes to the woods and meets several men who band together with him in order to survive, and to rebel against the tyranny of King John and the Sheriff of Nottingham.    These men include Little John,Will Scarlet, and Friar Tuck!    Eventually they are also joined by Maid Marian, who had once lived at the court of King John, but abandons it in order to follow her heart!

Marian is seen as an ideal foil to Robin Hood.    She is his beautiful noble woman lover, as well as a partner in crime!   Robin and Marian live in Sherwood Forest together among the Merry Men fighting the injustice of the monarchy.

The prime thing remembered by most who have read the Robin Hood stories is that he took from the rich and gave to the poor.    His moniker of “Hood” in fact is a reference to him being a thief.    This is why one of the films about him is even subtitled “Prince of Thieves.”   

Robin is the premier archer of Sherwood Forest in his day.    He was said to have had the accuracy that could not be matched by any other man alive!    In one of the most oft repeated tales he comes out of hiding in the Wood in order to compete in an archery competition held by King John.    He dressed as an old beggar and bested all comers, and that gave away his identity as none could have competed like that other than the great Robin of Locksley!

The Merry Men get into lots of trouble over many tales, often needing to rescue one another.   They form a powerful bond and become like family to one another.   This brotherhood is a strong one, and it allows each of them to get out of countless scrapes!

The story of Robin Hood has served as a template of tales of thief’s with hearts of gold, and antiheroes that would come after him.    We see his legacy often, and his tale is retold every few decades on film or in television.

Robin Hood is a figure many researchers have searched for.    There is much question over whether or not Robin Hood was based on a real person or not.    Several historians have come to the consensus that Robin Hood was inspired by several people and is a combination of them!    Legendary or based in real history the story of Robin Hood is incredibly interesting and entertaining!

I hope you enjoyed this post about the legendary thief and archer of Sherwood Forest!   Let me know your thoughts on Robin in the comment section below!

Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is the original theatrical poster for the 1938 film.   I found the image on Wikipedia.

Further Reading/Watching

  • The Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
  • Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves (1991)
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
  • Robin Hood (1973)
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)