Robin Hood - Outlaw or Hero

Robin HoodMany tales circulate about the outlaw Robin Hood. Truth to tell, many people are more interested in listening to stories of the outlaw than hearing mass and matins.

How true are these tales? Are they fables or just mere jests? Shouldn't we admit that this thief is an outlaw and condemn him as such?

By his own admission he robs travellers and makes sport of them. No friend of abbots or bishops, he openly admits: 'They sometimes require a good beating - as does the Sheriff of Nottingham.'

After disguising himself as a potter, he made a complete fool of the Sheriff and declares: 'I do no harm to the husbandman who tills with his plough, or the good yeoman who walks in the greenwood, or any knight or squire who is a good fellow.'

It seems he robs only the greedy and rich whose gold he passes on to provide for the poor and needy. They say he allows no lady to suffer injustice and reputes to show them every courtesy, even to being tender and thoughtful. These may be fine virtues but can we condone robbery on the King's highway and the killing of the King's deer? Has not this cheeky fellow gathered around him a band of outlaws who are the outcasts, perhaps luckless, but nevertheless the misdoers from the banished and dispossessed?

Robin Robs a BishopMaybe he is an audacious gentleman of the greenwood who will not accept injustices against the weak, but does his generosity to the poor and needy excuse his band of outlaws preying upon the Sheriff's men and the men of the church?

Truth to tell, these are troubled times. King Richard is on a sacred crusade that has left the kingdom leaderless. Pride and ambition appear more important than good rule and keeping law and order. There is corruption in the law and administration. Sheriffs extract high taxes, bribe jurors and fail to release prisoners - some prisoners have died in prison whilst awaiting justice - but is it right for men to take the law into their own hands?

 

Robin Hood may be clever and resourceful, have a hearty relish for fighting and fun, scorn all that is skulking and cowardly, but does that excuse him attacking and robbing travellers? Will sympathy for a merry joke and a romantic courtesy remedy the deficiencies of the law? Is justice that simple?

He may be called the prince of thieves; his exploits may be admired; he may have the support of the poor and the dispossessed but nevertheless, he is still a corrupting influence. His may be only a dream of justice.

for all books and videos of Robin Hood.

 
Robin's Story
Little John's Story
Brother Tuck's Story
Ballad of Alan a Dale
Sherwood Forest
Sir Richard at the Lee
Robin Hood and the Potter
Sheriff Fooled
Debt Repaid Thrice
Sir Guy of Gisborne
Little John Rescued
Silver Arrow Contest
Tales of Robin Hood

Robin and Little John

 
Robin Shoots the Sheriff
Robin and Marian
King Richard Meets Robin
 
Marian Fitzwater
( reporter for the
Sherwood Times)
Interviews:
Robin Hood - good samaritan?
Little John - gentle giant?
Brother Tuck - a hermit monk
Alan a Dale - a minstrel
Sherwood Times