Recently I rewatched the 2006 BBC series of Robin Hood and it got me thinking about why we all love the story of Robin Hood so much. I mean, we can all recite it off by heart, Robin Hood and his band of outlaws steal from the rich to give to the poor, living in Sherwood Forest and helping the people of Nottingham.
Robin Hood (and his men, let’s not forget them!) break the law on a daily basis, yet we celebrate them as heroes and we have continued to do the same with some of our favorite heroes today. Robin Hood was the beginning of a new type of storytelling, with heroes that work against the law rather than with it.
Since then we have had countless books, films and TV shows all telling the story of Robin Hood as well as many new stories inspired by his. We have Arrow, from the comic books and recent TV show and the 1973 Disney animated film as well as Robin Hood appearing in Once Upon a Time for multiple series. As well as TV shows and films that feature Robin Hood as a main character, there are many that include a passing reference to the famous outlaw, including Doctor Who, Shrek, Charmed, Blackadder, Dangermouse and even the Smurfs!
When I asked you guys on Twitter you said 70% of you said you had read or watched something featuring Robin Hood including Once Upon a Time, the animated Disney movie, the BBC TV series, Doctor Who, the novel Shadow of the Wolf and even musical versions. One person said they themselves had been in a production of his story. So it seems obvious that Robin Hood is a much loved tale that we all still enjoy watching and reading about.
However, Robin Hood is by no means a modern tale, as the first recorded ballads about him were written and told in the 15th century. There are very few stories that have survived the passage of time this well, so why did Robin Hood make it?
I think it is because inside each of us there is something that longs to be the hero. And this urge has been in mankind for as long as we have existed and will continue for as long as we exist. Robin Hood fights injustice, which is something we all want to do with our lives. He is brave and strong and kind, characteristics we all hope we have. He embodies the classic hero that everyone, at one point or another, wishes that they were. His story is timeless because now there is still injustice in the world that we should fight against so we can still relate to his tales.
So, what have you watched or read about Robin Hood?
Why do you think his story is a timeless one?