Monday, April 29, 2013

Robin Hood: Who Was He?

One of the most popular English folk heroes is Robin Hood. This “prince of thieves” stole from the rich and gave to the poor – or so the saying goes. This subject of ballads, books and films has proven to be one of pop culture’s most enduring folk heroes.

Who was this elusive outlaw? Historical searches have turned up numerous possibilities, such as the Yorkshire fugitive Robert Hod, also known as Hobbehod or Robert Hood of Wakefield. Efforts to identify the man behind the legend are complicated because over time the name Robin Hood became a common term for an outlaw. In literature the folk hero was sometimes described as Prince John or Richard the Lionheart.
Here are some fun folklore facts about this Sherwood Forest folk hero who led his gang of Merry Men throughout Englands’ wooded kingdom: 

  • In the 1400’s some Christian revelers celebrated May Day with plays and games involving a Robin Hood figure who was almost become a religious figure.
  • Robin Hood and the Merry Men were often called ‘wolfsheads’ because the sheriff decreed that anyone could hunt them down and collect a bounty just as they did wolves.
  • Considered a rebel, he was a faithful supporter of the rightful king, Richard the Lionheart and fought against Richard's corrupt brother, the usurper Prince John.

No comments:

Post a Comment