Robin Hood

Culture entity

An archetypal character of English folk tales originating in the middle ages. With his Merry Men, known to rob from the rich to provide for the poor

The first video game about Robin Hood was released in 1982.

Cinemaware, Mastertronic and Codemasters has published most of these games

Also know on most occasions for fighting against injustice and tyranny. Typically, his group of "Merry Men" number between 7 and 140 (seven score) and are also outlaws. Sherwood Forest and Nottinghamshire are popular settings but Loxley in Yorkshire would be a more 'historical' or realistic location for the origin of the tale as the oldest tales name this as his place of birth. The oldest tales pit him against the local sheriff who is just doing his job but later tales make the sheriff out to be corrupt and cruel to the poor, a legalized thief who taxes the people beyond reason and their ability to pay. Later tales pit him against the historical Prince John of England who is usually perceived as a usurper of Richard the Lionheart with a smaller role for the sheriff (or none at all). Robin Hood began as a yeoman (like his Merry Men) but in later tales he was said to be Lord of the Manor of Loxley. Some tales have him returning after serving in the in crusades, to a devastated home and family. In any case, he was unjustly deprived of his land. Often seen as good and charming. But some tales depict him as rebellious, cruel, and bloodthirsty; taking pleasure in beheading victims

The earliest tales of Robin Hood are actually references in other works beginning in 1228. No previous independent Robinhood Tales have ever been found and are not likely to have existed except in oral traditions. Many 13th century works name 'Robehod', 'Hobbehod', and 'Rabunhod' as the famous thief. The term "Robbing Hood" shortened to Robinhood became a common moniker for any criminal of the day. Indicative of the fact that Robin Hood's reputation improved sometime after 1439 when a legal petition included the text "who having no liflode, ne sufficeante of goodes, gadered and assembled unto him many misdoers, beynge of his clothynge, and, in manere of insurrection, wente into the wodes in that countrie, like as it hadde be Robyn Hude and his meyne." to describe an ordanary band of murdering bandits. As late as 1605, Guy Fawkes and company where derogatorily called "Robin Hoods". The first attempt to cast him as heroic was in a peom in 1420. Scholars, and writers, have often attempted to connect Robin Hood to fairytales. The movie Shrek is a modern example of this. While there is much crossover between fairy and folk tales, Robin Hood tales seem to have been quite independent from them until the 17th century.

Robin Hood as always been mixed into tales, even supposed non-fiction, of real history and real historical figures. The real historical figures Hereward the Wake, Eustace the Monk and Fulk FitzWarin share many similarities with the Robin Hood Legend but it is uncertain that their histories actually influenced the early tales. Fulk FitzWarin was an outlaw and disinherited noble and eventual enemy of Prince John. Roger Godberd is considered a likely origin of the later tales. Though is should be noted he was cited as a Robin Hood in his day but long after the tales existed. Also the fictional character of Maid Marian was introduce to the tales. Maid Marian tales had existed independently, prior to Robin Hood. The 16th saw the beginnings of mixing Robin Hood and Arthurian tales.

A grave in Kirklees Priory in Yorkshire is said to be the grave of the real Robin Hood, but there are numerous inconsistencies to suggest it is fake.

Most popular characters

Gilbert Whitehand, Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, Much the Miller's Son, Sheriff of Nottingham, Arthur a Bland, Prince John of England, King Richard I, Sir Guy of Gisborne, The Bishop of Hereford, Little John, Will Stutely, David of Doncaster, Sir Richard at the Lee
(view all the 18 "Robin Hood" characters)

Platforms

Amstrad CPC 6
C64 5
NES 4
Windows 3
PS2 3
Amiga 3
Linux 2
Mac OS Classic 2
ZX Spectrum 2
Atari ST 2
MS-DOS 2
Apple IIGS 1
Apple II E 1
GBA 1
CD-I 1
ColecoVision 1
Xbox 1
GBC 1
GB 1
Mac OS X 1
Tandy Coco 1
C16/Plus4 1

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