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  • Robin Hood of Nottingham – Myth or Reality

  • It is more than 500 years since Robin Hood made his appearance in the history of England, and he continues to be a character who is highly romanticized, with his fame remaining undiminished. Robin Hood of Nottingham was himself a nobleman, who was said to rob the rich to give to the poor.

    Whether he was myth or a real character is something that has never been authentically answered, and there are many writers of history who believe that such a character did indeed exist. William Wallace in those turbulent times was forced to become an outlaw, who had a band of followers who were disciplined and followed him without ever questioning his authority. He also disguised himself as a potter, just as the fictional Robin Hood did, and Wallace may have well been the reason for the start of the legend that grew till it made it difficult for historians to separate fact from fiction.

    • The World Famous Legend

    The legend of Robin Hood was recorded in the form of plays and ballads, and as they gained their hold on the public imagination, these stories took on political overtones. He was written off by popular writers like Tennyson, Peacock, Scott, and Keats who glorified the character. This legend has continued and studies of the character of Robin Hood of Nottingham will require the study of politics, art, and sagas of heroism. The character of this outlaw is someone many people identify with even today, and it has led to such a character being present in many histories, with different names and appearances.

    Robin Hood is a person that is looked up to even today, and he is believed to be a personage who depicts the rebellion in society and its abhorrence of its politicization. Robin Hood was marginalized and kept confined to Sherwood Forest, and many people who feel alienated from society identify themselves with him. He has always been seen as a renegade, a hero, a friend, a comrade and a lover, who was a nobleman as well. He was a normal person, who had all the foibles and defects in personality that normal people have, and this has only helped in people identifying themselves with him.

    • Even More Relevant Now Than Ever

    To understand the concept that inspired the rebellion of Robin Hood, one needs to understand the social conditions in those days, where the system was largely feudal. The general populace was reduced to serfdom by the government of that day, represented by the Sherriff of Nottingham, who is the antagonist in most Robin Hood stories. They were the people who did all the work that benefited the feudal lords of that day. This feeling is still there among people who are less privileged and yet forced to pay taxes and other tithes to the government of the day. So, in fact, Robin Hood advocated tax cuts, just as the more liberal-minded people of today do.

    This identification with present-day politics and requiring government money to come back to the people who create its wealth has led to the continuing popularity of the legend of Robin Hood of Nottingham.

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