Robin Hood: Fact or Fiction?

Essay by emzec37High School, 12th gradeA+, March 2003

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Robin Hood

Fact or Fiction?

Robin Hood, leader of the Merry Men of Sherwood forest, has been the main figure for countless tales and stories as well as a controversial figure of historical research and information. Even though the national hero is more folklore than proven historical fact, there could be some truth behind these tales. Robin Hood is one of England's most enduring legends, but the truth behind the myth has long been lost. Historians believe that Robin Hood existed, but exactly who he was remains a mystery. Some say he was the lord Robin of Locksley. Popular stories have Robin and his outlaws living in Sherwood Forest, fighting for the people in the name of Richard the Lionheart against his evil brother Prince John. He has always been looked at as the hero who took from the rich to give to the poor. Throughout the medieval world legends told of monsters and dragons, of valiant knights and of maidens in distress, but why do these legends survive? Is it because we can personally relate to what they have to say? Is a legend actually an exaggeration of an original truth? Such is the case with the legend of Robin Hood.

In legend, Robin Hood is England's greatest archer and the finest leader of men - an outlaw wrongly driven from his lands. Robbing from the rich to give to the poor, he is an inspiration for the downtrodden and oppressed. The story of Robin Hood has been told the world over for hundreds of years. It has been portrayed in poems, plays and novels for seven centuries, and today it appears in the movies, on TV and even in cartoons. But is it simply a story? Indeed, it sounds very much like the stuff of fantasy and...