Robin Hood

via Daily Prompt: Legend

I was born in Nottingham, and lived in Nottinghamshire until my parents decided to migrate to Australia. Sherwood Forest was not too far away from where we lived , and we did go past it in our travels, though we never stopped to visit it properly.



I grew up with the legend of Robin Hood. As a child I was captivated and enthralled. Comics, books, TV shows I devoured.


But as I grew up I began to take a more serious historical perspective. The legend is now so embelished it has become more fantasy. The origins are of a working man who gathers a band of men in Sherwood Forest and take to robbery. The story becomes embelished with Robin becoming a man of royal blood, who has a girlfriend and who robs from the rich and gives to the poor, and who fights to right injustices.

Evidence of the legend is found in written work in the period 500 – 1500. William Langland wrote of Robin Hood in ‘Piers Ploughman’ in 1377, after which there are several works that bring up the story. After 1400 the legend even takes on a religious flavour, a salvation style story.

The legend has remained just that with no evidence of a veifiable real person. The story seems to have developed out of discontent among the peasnts and workers, where a person comes along and restores justice. Academic research has failed to find a real Robin Hood. Nonetheles, I really like the legend because it speaks of how culture dreams of a better world, and for me that’s how legends are helpful, they lift us up. It doesn’t matter that Robin Hood isn’t real, it matters that there is a narrative of hope and justice.




Filed under history, life

6 responses to “Robin Hood

  1. And a narrative of hope and justice is so in tune with what we need today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There was also no evidence to support of King Arthur’s existence but I loved that story the same way I loved Robin Hood. A royal-blood-turned-bandit is a plausible plot because you know he would have access to confidential information so he would know who to rob or not. Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like that angle, and yes no evidence, there’s something to be said for common motifs in folk-lore. William Tell comes to mind. And prior to the English Robin Hood, there’s an earlier French parallel. I too love the stories.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. MNL

    probably can’t find the “real” Robin Hood because there was probably more than one such person — a guy who lost everything due to feudal class system (his class having no rights, and a different class who had the legal right to take everything and anything from his class), escaped to the forest and ending up heading up a renegade band of other people who lost much too. Whether they stuck to robbing from the “rich” (aristocrats, merchants) is probably because they traveled with coin. And since he probably was a peasant and not a lord, probably not a written record but only anecdotal talk about various different people that later got written down and condensed into one person. And if you transcribe oral history decades or centuries after it happened, bound to be different from what actually happened — especially if it was a story that was initially whispered because talking openly might be seen as cooperating with the renegade and getting your head chopped off. Anyways that’s my speculations. I loved the Robin Hood stories too.

    Liked by 2 people

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