41 Robin Hood Facts: Learn More About The Legendary Outlaw | Kidadl


41 Robin Hood Facts: Learn More About The Legendary Outlaw

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Robin Hood is a very popular fictional character who was an outlaw hero.

The earliest reference of Robin Hood can be found in 14th century English ballads. Robin Hood is usually depicted as being dressed in Lincoln green colors.

He is mentioned as a rebel in most stories, as he used to rob the rich people, or people in places of authority, and give all the gains to the poor people in order to help them. Robin Hood’s popularity has always stayed in literature and drama, as there are several stage dramas, movies, and books based on his character. He has been described as a highly-skilled archer and a swordsman in several legends. One of the most mentioned enemies of Robin Hood in the ballads and books is the Sheriff of Nottingham- an area where Robin Hood had his base.

Several other characters, mainly wealthy landowners belonging to the religious group, are termed as his enemies, which he fights against and robs them of their valuables to distribute amongst the poor. In some versions of legends, he is depicted as being of noble birth himself. In some legends, he is also described as having fought in the Crusades. In almost all legends, Robin Hood has treated women and the poor with respect, which made him quite popular among the community. Today, Robin Hood is considered a symbol of rebellion against tyranny, who stole from the rich people to help the poor with the intention to divide the riches equally among the community.

Read on to know more about the legend of Robin Hood. Afterward, also check out more interesting facts such as Moana facts and Mulan facts.

Fun Facts About Robin Hood

The fame of Robin Hood has been immeasurable for centuries. From early mentions in ballads and folklore to modern depictions like movies and television, the main character and his band of Merry Men have stayed relevant for a long time.

  • There are several adaptations of the story, changing over the years, which have been represented in folklore, literature, movies, animation, live-action, and television serials.
  • Robin Hood is considered one of the most popular characters from English folklore.
  • Because of his popularity, any person who is a heroic outlaw who fights against tyranny is termed as Robin Hood in popular culture.
  • Surprisingly, the area where Robin Hood was supposed to live, Nottinghamshire, is often promoted as the ‘Robin Hood County’ because of the tales based in that area.
  • Many historians and scholars have always debated about the idea that the character of Robin Hood was based on a real person or whether it was just a fictional character who emerged from the ballads.
  • Recorded evidence from the Middle Ages points to various personalities who fit the bill for Robin Hood. However, there is no clarity on whether the character and personalities are the same people.
  • Furthermore, the name Robin Hood is also a very common name used in the Middle Ages. Many historians even claim that if the name was used by a real person who was Robin Hood, the name itself could have been an alias or a nickname which makes it harder to find.
  • Although Robin Hood is mentioned in several stories as residing in a base in Sherwood forest in Nottingham, many of the earliest stories have been set in Yorkshire and not Nottingham.
  • It is believed that initially, Robin Hood’s home was in Barnsdale forest in Yorkshire rather than Sherwood forest. In fact, the majority of Sherwood forest lies in Yorkshire rather than Nottingham.
  • The reason for Robin Hood’s immense popularity is given to the fact that he was generous towards poor people and oppressed peasants.
  • Also, his rebellious nature and courage to fight against the Sheriff of Nottingham gave the lower class a sense of hope to fight against oppression and the feudal system, making him their hero.

These stories were highly in congruence with the actual scenario of the society, which also gave people hope that the oppression they were under could be ended if they worked together.

Facts About Legends Of Robin Hood

Some of the earliest surviving records of ballads that mention Robin Hood date back to the second half of the 15th century. These ballads reveal the cruelty and oppression which the lower class had to face at the hands of the tyrants.

  • Most of these ballads establish Robin Hood’s character as being a skilled archer and a swordsman, that he was devoted to Virgin Mary, about how he helped the lower class rebel against oppression, as well as his hatred towards the Sheriff of Nottinghamshire.
  • Many historians have tried to prove the existence of a real Robin Hood, although there is no clarity about that.
  • No historical figure has matched Robin Hood’s timeline, character, and personality. Hence most people believe that his character is only legendary.
  • Some of the most famous ballads of Robin Hood are ‘Robin Hood and the Monk”, ‘Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne,’ ‘Robin Hood and the Potter’, and ‘The Lyttell Geste of Robin Hode.’
  • These tales and ballads go through several variations over time.
  • Some tales mention more than a hundred Merry Men who live in Sherwood Forest with Robin Hood, while the earliest tales only mention Little John, Much the Miller’s son, and Will Scarlett as the band of Merry Men.
  • Friar Tuck, who is a famous character from Robin Hood stories, does not appear until 1475, and several other characters like David of Doncaster and Will Stutley were added much later, in the 17th century.
  • One of the most recently added characters includes Nasir, who was added just recently in the 20th century.
  • Likewise, there is no mention of any Maid Marian in the earliest versions of Robin Hood.
  • Maid Marian started to appear in the tales around the 15th century, as she was added as the love interest of Robin Hood.
  • This only happened after the tales of Robin Hood, which gave the message of hope and rebellion in the beginning gradually evolved and thus became entertaining in order to keep the people engaged with the character.

Hence, the addition of a romantic love interest was seen as the best way to keep the character alive. Many stories even describe Robin Hood and Maid Marian getting married, although there is no historical truth to these stories related to Maid Marian.

Robin Hood is a very popular fictional character

History Of Robin Hood

One of the earliest references to ballads related to Robin Hood is believed to be a poem written by Piers Plowman named ‘Rhymes of Robin Hood,’ which is said to have been composed in the 1370s. Several early ballads also mention the social status of Robin Hood as one of being a yeoman.

  • The term ‘yeoman’ can be roughly described as someone who was a small landholder or a commoner but did not belong to the lower class like peasants.
  • For example, artisans were considered yeomen in the 14th century.
  • It is believed that the reason why Robin Hood rebelled against the authorities was because of the unnecessary stringent laws which forbade hunting in the forests.
  • Hence, he rebelled as a legendary outlaw who lived in the forest and went against the authorities.
  • This idea of rebellion and freedom naturally appealed to the common folk, which made the character of Robin Hood so famous.
  • By the early 15th century, Robin was commonly associated with an annual celebration called May Day in some parts of England.
  • Many people dressed in Robin Hood’s attire of green clothes or his band of Merry Men during these celebrations.
  • These festivities included a Robin Hood being appointed as the May King, who presided over the fair and attended the games and processions held in his honor.
  • Many churches also held these celebrations in order to raise funds for the churches.
  • Many other variations of the legend which emerged in the 16th century suggested that Robin Hood was actually a noble outlaw.
  • Many playwrights turned to this new version to make stories about Robin Hood, which became more and more romantic and entertaining, and soon lost its socially aware quality.
  • In 1973, Disney productions released an animation film that portrayed Robin Hood as a fox, voiced by Brian Bedford.

Since then, the character of Robin Hood and his gang of Merry Men have made it into several movies, and the lead character is played by prestigious actors like Kevin Costner, Errol Flynn, and Sean Connery.

Facts About The Era When Robin Hood Lived

As mentioned above, the first printed version of Robin Hood ballads is that of Piers Plowman. This was also the time when old English literature as we know it today was starting to emerge.

  • This event also clashed with the Peasants’ Revolts which were happening around 1381.
  • The peasants who were rebelling against the unnecessary taxes levied by the noble barons and the feudal system in England were slowly on the decline.
  • Due to these events, the people of the lower class related with the stories of Robin Hood, which gave them hope and a sense of justice that their acts were right.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 41 Robin Hood Facts: learn more about the legendary outlaw, then why not take a look at Tangled facts or Lilo and Stitch facts.

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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