Saturday, 17 October 2009
The Importance of Robin Hood
There cannot be a child today in countries that have film and television,who has not heard of Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
Sadly the programmes and films made about this mythical character are in the main abysmal;I recollect seeing one effort by Kevin Costner which looked promising at the start,having our hero returning from the Holy Land with his Muslim chum.
They landed in England,with shots of the White Cliffs of Dover,great!
Then what happens? He and his pal are next seen walking along Hadrian's Wall! Now if the guy is trying to get to Nottingham,he has overshot by 150 miles.
In fact the best part of the film, was when Alan Rickman was on screen,sending up the Sheriff of Nottingham as a seriously stressed out chap!
What however interests me in this English folk tale,is, what is behind it.
After 1066 our country was ruled by a nasty bunch of land grabbing thugs,called the Normans,whose ancestors are the chinless wonders referred to as English Aristocrats.
Now enough of this frivolity,at the time when these events are supposed to have taken place,the country was ruled by Prince John,brother of Richard the Lionheart.
Prince John spent much of his time collecting taxes from a people who could ill afford to pay them.
The Normans used ruthless tactics in extracting revenues from the poor.
Thus the myth of Robin Hood came into existance,an outlaw who lived in the forest with his followers and took from the rich,to give to the poor.
In all honesty,if such a man had really existed,the Saxons would have risen against they're masters.
Since their King was busy in the Holy Land with the fighting elite of the country,this should have been a walkover.
Thus it sadly suggests that the story was more to do with keeping the spirit of freedom alive,than in any basis of fact.
Today the story of Robin Hood still has resonance for peoples across the World oppressed by their masters.
Next week I shall post about the English Longbow and the Battle of Agincourt.........Enjoy your weekend.