Robert Louis Stevenson`s Black Arrow

Essay by ElliashUniversity, Master's March 2004

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Part I - Prologue

I had four blak arrows under my belt,

Four for the greefs that I have felt,

Four for the nombre of ill menne

That have opressid me now and then.

One is gone; one is wele sped;

Old Apulyard is ded.

One is Master Bennet Hatch,

That burned Grimstone walls and thatch.

One is for Sir Oliver Oates,

That cut Sir Harry Shelton`s throat.

Sir Daniel ye shull have the fourt;

We shall think it fair sport.

Ye shull each have your own part,

A blak arrow in each blak heart.

Get ye to your knees for to pray :

Ye are ded theeves , by yea and nay!

Part II - The book

" A powerful portrayal of England in the time of the Wars of the Roses, The Black Arrow is a spectacular tale of adventure as well as a heart-warming love story."

(The back cover of the book, Penguin Popular Classics, Penguin/Godfrey Cave Edition)

Indeed, the book shows a big adventure of a seventeen-year old male called Richard and how he made his fortune, revenged his father's death and won the lady of his dreams. However, one can find more behind the very nice story. The main character is skilled in battle, brave, strong and he has a strong moral sense, but he is unaware of the life's lessons - the difficulty of choice and the cruelty and dishonesty of other people (in other words - he is naïve). As the reader moves further in the book, the main character matures and finds his life happiness, which is neither the fame of his name nor the title he later receives, but the marriage with the lady of his heart and personal balance - the way he acts in the end of the...