no edit summary
==The story of Robin Hood==
The story of Robin Hood is so well known. The story is set in the 13th century Robin Hood was the alias of Robin of Locksley an Earl. He was a follower of King Richard I (the Lionheart) who when he went on Crusade had his throne usurped by his brother John. Robin is forced to become an outlaw by the evil King John who was a cruel tyrant. The Sheriff of Nottingham the agent of the King attempts to capture and kill the brave Robin. However, he defies him and in a series of adventures he escapes the clutches of the Sheriff and his henchmen. Robin assembles together a number of colorful outlaws such as Will Scarlett, Little John, and Friar Tuck. The hero is concerned for the welfare of the poor and he is opposed to the corrupt aristocracy and clergy. He is a great archer and is a thorough gentleman. The outlaw is typically shown to be in love with the beautiful Maid Marian. At the end of the tales of Robin Hood, he manages to outwit the Sheriff of Nottingham and helps the rightful king Richard the Lionheart reclaim the throne of England. This monarch pardons Robin and even marries him to Maid Marion. However, this is the modern version of the tale of Robin and there have been many earlier versions of the adventures of the outlaw and these are often very different from the one that we all know so well <ref> Kennedy, D.N. 'Who was Robin Hood?', Folklore, vol. 66 (1955), pp. 413-415</ref>.
[[File: Robin Hood 2.jpg|200px|thumb|left|Effigy of Richard I the Lionheart]]
==The development of the legend==
The name Robin Hood or similar names seems to have been a term uses to describe outlaws, who were engaged in crimes such as poaching, which was a capital crime in England. There are a number of references to Robe Hood or Robehod, who were bandits and outlaws. It appears that the name was part of the oral tradition and many tales of him were told in the Shires of England in the Middle Ages <ref>Kennedy, p 410</ref>. The first literary reference to the outlaw was in the classic Medieval epic poem Piers Ploughman, written in the mid-to-late 14th century. The first stories of Robin Hood are narrated in some ballads that date from the 15th century. In some, he is a hero but in others, he is involved in comic adventures. Unlike the modern version in these ballads, the outlaw is a member of the Yeoman class, who were mainly small landowners. Robin was very popular in English folklore and his life and adventures were the subject of many plays and dramas. However, there is no definitive version. In one tale Maid Marion is shown to be a witch and the enemy of the great bowman. By the 15th century, the stories of Robin and his ‘Merry Men’ became associated with May Day festivities<ref>Kennedy, p 413</ref>. These were celebrations that marked the beginning of summer and for many centuries was more popular than Christmas. There were many portrayals of and references to Robin in Elizabethan and Jacobian dramas. Shakespeare referred to the ‘good’ bandit and his band in several of his dramas. For example, in one of his comedies he has one of his characters say, ‘By the bare scalp of Robin Hood’s fat friar/This fellow were a king for our wild faction!’ <ref> Shakespeare, William, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 2, scene 3</ref>. By the end of the 16th century, the development of printing made Robin known to a wider audience. During the 18th century, the standard version of Robin was formed. This was mainly because of the English writer Ritson. He compiled an anthology of medieval ballads on the life and adventures of the outlaw and his band. It was only in the 19th century that the present version of Robin Hood was fully developed, and this was mainly thanks to the depiction of the character in the novel ‘Ivanhoe’ by Sir Walter Scott. His work was based on the compilation by Ritson. This version was then popularized by the authors of children’s books. These sanitized versions of the medieval folktales were popular on the stage and later Hollywood made motion pictures based on them.