The subject of ballads,books and films, Robin Hood has proven to be one of popular culture's mostenduring folk heroes. Over the course of 700 years, the outlaw fromNottinghamshire who robs the rich to give to the poor has emerged as one of themost enduring folk heroes in popular culture-and one of the most versatile.
Buthow has the legend of Sherwood Forest's merry outlaws evolved over time? Did areal Robin Hood inspire these classic tales?
Beginning in the 15thcentury and perhaps even earlier, Christian revelers in certain parts ofEngland celebrated May Day with plays and games involving a Robin Hood figurewith near-religious significance. In the 19th century, writer-illustrators likeHoward Pyle adapted the traditional tales for children, popularizing them inthe United States and around the world. More recently, bringing Robin to thesilver screen has become?a rite of passage?for directors ranging fromMichael Curtiz and Ridley Scott to Terry Gilliam and Mel Brooks.
Throughout Robin'sexistence, writers, performers and filmmakers have probed their imaginationsfor new incarnations that resonate with their respective audiences.
In14th-century England, where agrarian discontent had begun to chip away at thefeudal system, he appears as an anti-establishment rebel who murders governmentagents and wealthy landowners. Later variations from times of less socialupheaval dispense with the gore and cast Robin as a dispossessed aristocrat witha heart of gold and a love interest, Maid Marian.
Academics, meanwhile,have combed the historical record for evidence of a real Robin Hood. Englishlegal records suggest that, as early as the 13th century, “Robehod,” “Rabunhod”and other variations had become common epithets for criminals. But what hadinspired these nicknames: a fictional tale, an infamous bandit or an amalgam ofboth? The first literary references to Robin Hood appear in a series of 14th-and 15th-century ballads about a violent yeoman who lived in Sherwood Forestwith his men and frequently clashed with the Sheriff of Nottingham. Rather thana peasant, knight or fallen noble, as in later versions, the protagonist ofthese medieval stories is a commoner. Little John and Will Scarlet are part ofthis Robin’s “merry” crew-meaning, at the time, an outlaw's gang-but MaidMarian, Friar Tuck and Alan-a-Dale would not enter the legend until later,possibly as part of the May Day rituals.
While most contemporaryscholars have failed to turn up solid clues, medieval chroniclers took forgranted that a historical Robin Hood lived and breathed during the 12th or 13thcentury. The details of their accounts vary widely, however, placing him inconflicting regions and eras. Not until John Major's “History of Greater Britain” (1521), for example, is he depicted asa follower of King Richard, one of his defining characteristics in modem times.
?We may never know forsure whether Robin Hood ever existed outside the verses of ballads and pages ofbooks. And even if we did, fans, young and old, would still surely flock toEngland's Nottinghamshire region for a tour of the legend's alleged formerhangouts, from centuries-old pubs to the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest.
What wedo know is that the notion of a brave rebel who lives on the outskirts ofsociety, fighting injustice and oppression with his band of companions, hasuniversal appeal-whether he's played by Erroll Flynn, Russell Crowe or even, ason a 1979 episode of “The Muppet Show,” Kermit the Frog.
Which of the following is true about Maid Marian according to the passage? :
A.A woman with a good heart. .
B.A woman Robin Hood loved.
C.A woman Robin Hood helped.
D.A woman studying Robin Hood legend.