For this week’s Femme Fatale Friday I have chosen the subject of Maid Marian. Marian is the central female figure in the stories of Robin Hood. She is often depicted as a woman fought over by several men, but staying true and loving only the titular Robin Hood! This will be a short Femme Fatale Friday post speaking of Marian as an inspiration for her loyalty and rebellion.
Marian chose to be with Robin Hood instead of living out her life in the easy way. She could have been with King John or with the Sheriff of Nottingham, depending on the telling each one had designs to bed her, but she stayed true to her heart’s desire. She ran away and joined the band of Merry Men in many of their wild adventures.
Much like Guinevere in Arthurian legends, several of the Robin Hood tales feature Marian needing to be rescued. This served as a good reason to move forward the plot. After all, what better plot device, to inspire a hero to action, is there than true love? Robin Hood and Marian even get to marry in some versions of their tales.
It shows a lot of moral fibre to have a heroine who chose love over an easy life, and who was willing to live a life that was outside of convention in her pursuit of happiness! These are the lessons I learned from Marian in my reading of Robin Hood in childhood. I am very happy to have been able to get to learn about this inspirational and in many ways bohemian woman. She is the a character that chose to live in a way aligned with what made her happy, not what was normal. These are the same principles that figures in the counter culture movement would also live by!
While many could say Marian is the exemplar of traditional femininity, I see her as a much deeper figure. One that embodies both the traditional feminine and also the wild woman who is willing to rebel to be true to herself! It is this dual aspect that makes her a Femme Fatale worth finding inspiration in. I hope you have enjoyed this look at Maid Marian, a great archetypal figure of legend. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is The Forest Lovers card from The Wildwood Tarot. It depicts Robin and Marian. I found the image on https://www.pinterest.com/pin/254734922659299863/.
- The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle