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==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 it 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 great 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. However, there is no one definitive version of the tales. In one story 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 fellow bandits. 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.
[[File: Robin Hood three.jpg|200px|thumb|left|The alleged burial site of Robin of Locksley, often believed to be the historical Robin Hood]]