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Robin Hood

Robin Hood

Character Background Essay Author: Valerie B. Johnson

Robin Hood, Robin Hood
Riding through the glen.
Robin Hood, Robin Hood
With his band of men.
Feared by the bad, loved by the good.
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood
The Adventures of Robin Hood (ITV series, 1955-60).


Speak the name Robin Hood and immediately an audience will conjure images of the green-clad archer of Sherwood Forest, or the noble robber who steals from the rich to give to the poor, or the humble leader of the Merry Men, or the one man who will stand up to injustice and tyranny in the Middle Ages. These images of Robin Hood are common, even universal, yet they are not the result of a single, unified tradition—rather, they are the product of a metatextual tradition, one which surpasses and overrides every individual representation of the character. The character of Robin Hood is thus remarkably elusive, despite—or perhaps due to—centuries of intense cultural investment in the legend's stability.

Robin Hood consequently enjoys a double life that few other traditional figures can match, because in every new retelling of the story there are always two Robin Hoods present: the Robin Hood of popular culture, which is an amalgamation of prior representations and cultural forces, and the Robin Hood of the specific story, which is designed to meet the specific needs of the author and the projected audience. The Robin Hood of popular culture is the character that audiences expect and demand, and this character is simultaneously deeply desired and deeply rejected. Audiences want new, up-to-date, and relevant Robin Hoods, Robin Hoods who address the

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The Bold Pedlar and Robin Hood (Child Ballad No. 132) - 1882-1889 (Author)
The King's Disguise, and Friendship with Robin Hood (Child Ballad No. 151) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Little John A Begging (Child Ballad No. 142A) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Look About You - 1600 (Author)
The Noble Fisherman, or, Robin Hood's Preferment (Child Ballad No. 148) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and Queen Katherine (Child Ballad No. 145A) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and Queen Katherine (Child Ballad No. 145B) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and Queen Katherine (Child Ballad No. 145C) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and the Beggar, I (Child Ballad No. 133) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and the Beggar, II (Child Ballad No. 134) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and the Butcher (Child Ballad No. 122A) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and the Butcher (Child Ballad No. 122B) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar (Child Ballad No. 123A) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and the Prince of Aragon (Child Ballad No. 129) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and the Ranger (Child Ballad No. 131) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and the Scotchman (Child Ballad No. 130A) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and the Scotchman (Child Ballad No. 130B) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and the Shepherd (Child Ballad No. 135) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and the Tanner (Child Ballad No. 126) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and the Tinker (Child Ballad No. 127) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood and the Valiant Knight (Child Ballad No. 153) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires (Child Ballad No. 140A) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood Rescuing Will Stutly (Child Ballad No. 141) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood's Chase (Child Ballad No. 146) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood's Death (Child Ballad No. 120A) - 1882-1889 (Author)
Robin Hood's Delight (Child Ballad No. 136) - 1882-1889 (Author)

Barton, Bernard (1784 - 1849)
The Death of Robin Hood - 1828 (Author)

Bishop, Henry Rowley (1786 - April 30, 1855)
Chesson, Nora (1871 - 1906)
Robin Hood's Good-Night - 1906 (Author)

The Bold Pedlar and Robin Hood (Child Ballad No. 132) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
The King's Disguise, and Friendship with Robin Hood (Child Ballad No. 151) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Little John A Begging (Child Ballad No. 142A) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
The Noble Fisherman, or, Robin Hood's Preferment (Child Ballad No. 148) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and Queen Katherine (Child Ballad No. 145A) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and Queen Katherine (Child Ballad No. 145B) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and Queen Katherine (Child Ballad No. 145C) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Beggar, I (Child Ballad No. 133) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Beggar, II (Child Ballad No. 134) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Butcher (Child Ballad No. 122A) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Butcher (Child Ballad No. 122B) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar (Child Ballad No. 123A) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Prince of Aragon (Child Ballad No. 129) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Ranger (Child Ballad No. 131) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Scotchman (Child Ballad No. 130A) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Scotchman (Child Ballad No. 130B) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Shepherd (Child Ballad No. 135) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Tanner (Child Ballad No. 126) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Tinker (Child Ballad No. 127) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Valiant Knight (Child Ballad No. 153) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires (Child Ballad No. 140A) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood Rescuing Will Stutly (Child Ballad No. 141) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood's Chase (Child Ballad No. 146) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood's Death (Child Ballad No. 120A) - 1882-1889 (Editor)
Robin Hood's Delight (Child Ballad No. 136) - 1882-1889 (Editor)

Cook, Eliza (1818 - 1889)
The Bow - 1870 (Author)

Daniel, George (1789 - 1864)
Robin Hood - 1842 (Author)

Dowsing the Demon - 1842 (Author)

Evans, Sebastian (1830 - 1909)
Grafton, Richard (1511 - 1573)
Hunt, Leigh (1784 - 1859)
How Robin and His Outlaws Lived in the Woods - November 22, 1820 (Author)
Robin Hood, a Child - November 15, 1820 (Author)
Robin Hood, an Outlaw - November 22, 1820 (Author)
Robin Hood's Flight - November 15, 1820 (Author)

Jones, Robert (c. 1564 - 1615)
Jonson, Ben (c. 1572 - 1637)
Keats, John (1795 - 1821)
Robin Hood: To a Friend - 1820 (Author)

The Death of Robin Hood - 1997 (Editor)
The Downfall of Robert, Earle of Huntington - 1997 (Editor)
Excerpts from The Death of Robert, Earle of Huntington - 1997 (Editor)
From Richard Grafton's Chronicle at Large (1569) - 1997 (Editor)
A Gest of Robyn Hode - 1997 (Editor)
The Jolly Pinder of Wakefield - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood and Allin a Dale - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood and His Crew of Souldiers - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood and Little John - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood and Maid Marian - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood and Queen Catherin - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Bishop - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Friar and Robin Hood and the Potter - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Friar and Robin Hood and the Potter: Introduction - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Monk - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Pedlars - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood and the Potter - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood and Will Scarlet - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood Rescues Three Young Men - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood's Birth, Breeding, Valour, and Marriage - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood's Fishing - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood's Golden Prize - 1997 (Editor)
Robin Hood's Progress to Nottingham - 1997 (Editor)
Robyn and Gandelyn - 1997 (Editor)
Robyn Hod and the Shryff off Notyngham - 1997 (Editor)
The Tale of Gamelyn - 1997 (Editor)
A True Tale of Robin Hood - 1997 (Editor)
A True Tale of Robin Hood: Introduction - 1997 (Editor)

Linton, W. J. (1812 - 1898)
An Hour of Robin Hood - 1865 (Author)

Maidment, James (bap. 1793-1879)
Munday, Anthony (1553 - 1633)
Noyes, Alfred (1880 - 1958)
The Matin-Song of Friar Tuck - 1918 (Author)
A Song of Sherwood - 1913-1920 (Author)

A True Tale of Robin Hood - 1997 (Author)

Maid Marian - 1822 (Author)

Planché , James Robinson (1796 - May 30, 1880)
Pound, Louise (1872 - June 27, 1958)
To A Friend, On Robin Hood - 1821 (Author)
To E--, With the Foregoing Sonnets - 1820 (Author)
To The Same - 1821 (Author)

Robin Hood: A Fragment - 1821 (Author)

Southey, Robert (1774 - 1843)
Robin Hood: A Fragment - 1821 (Author)

Waldron, F. G. (1744 - 1818)
Weelkes, Thomas (1576 - 1623)
Since Roben Hood - 1608 (Author)

Thomas Bewick (1753 - 1828)
F. W. Fairholt (c. 1813 - 1866)
Charlotte Harding (1873 - 1951)
Howard Pyle (1853 - 1911)
Louis Rhead (1857 - 1926)
Patten Wilson (1869 - 1934)
N. C. Wyeth (1882 - October 19, 1945)