41 The plays are complex in plot and form, the story of Robin hood appearing as a play-within-a-play presented at the court of Henry viii and written by the poet, priest and courtier John skelton. Skelton himself is presented in the play as acting the part of Friar Tuck. Some scholars have conjectured that skelton may have indeed written a lost Robin hood play for Henry viii's court, and that this play may have been one of Munday's sources. 42 Henry viii himself with eleven of his nobles had impersonated "Robyn Hodes men" as part of his "maying" in 1510. Robin hood is known to have appeared in a number of other lost and extant Elizabethan plays. In 1599, the play george a green, the pinner of wakefield places Robin hood in the reign of Edward. 43 Edward i, a play by george peele first performed in 1590-1, incorporates a robin hood game played by the characters.
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37 There is also an early playtext appended to a 1560 printed edition of usher the gest. This includes a dramatic version of the story of Robin hood and the curtal Friar and a version of the first part of the story of Robin hood and the potter. (Neither of these ballads are known to have existed in print at the time, and there is no earlier record known of the "Curtal Friar" story). The publisher describes the text as a ' playe of Robyn hood, verye proper to be played in maye games but does not seem to be aware that the text actually contains two separate plays. 38 An especial point of interest in the "Friar" play is the appearance of a ribald woman who is unnamed but apparently to be identified with the bawdy maid Marian of the may games. 39 She does not appear in extant versions of the ballad. Robin hood on the early modern stage In 1598, Anthony munday wrote a pair of plays on the robin hood legend, The downfall and The death of Robert Earl of Huntington (published 1601). These plays drew on a variety resume of sources, including apparently a gest of Robin hood, and were influential in fixing the story of Robin hood to the period of Richard. Stephen Thomas Knight has suggested that Munday drew heavily on Fulk fitz warin a historical 12th century outlawed nobleman and enemy of King John, in creating his Robin hood. 40 The play identifies Robin hood as Robert, earl of Huntingdon, probably for the first time, and identifies maid Marian with 'one of the semi-mythical Matildas persecuted by king John '.
32 The naming of Marian may have come from the French pastoral play. . 1280, the jeu de robin et Marion This play is distinct from the English legends. 27 although Dobson and taylor regard it as 'highly probable' that this French Robin's name and functions travelled to the English may games where they fused with essay the robin hood legend. 33 Both Robin and Marian were certainly associated with may day festivities in England (as was Friar Tuck but these may have been originally two distinct types of performance alexander Barclay in his Ship of fools, writing. . 1500, refers to ' some merry fytte of maid Marian or else of Robin hood'—but the characters were brought together '. 34 Marian did not immediately gain the unquestioned role; in Robin hood's Birth, Breeding, valor, and Marriage, his sweetheart is 'Clorinda the queen of the Shepherdesses'. 35 Clorinda survives in some later stories as an alias of Marian. 36 The earliest preserved script of a robin hood play is the fragmentary robyn Hod and the Shryff off Notyngham 15 This apparently dates to the 1470s and circumstantial evidence suggests it was probably performed at the household of Sir John Paston. This fragment appears to tell the story of Robin hood and guy of Gisborne.
24 he appears not so much as a revolt against societal standards as an embodiment of them, being generous, pious, and courteous, opposed to stingy, worldly, and churlish foes. 25 Other scholars have by contrast stressed the subversive aspects of the legend, and see in the medieval Robin hood ballads a plebeian literature hostile to the feudal order. 26 Early plays, may day games and fairs by the early 15th century at the latest, robin hood had become associated with may day celebrations, with revellers dressing as Robin or as members of his band for the festivities. This was not common throughout England, but in some regions the custom lasted until Elizabethan times, and during the reign of Henry viii, was briefly popular at court. 27 Robin was often allocated the role of a may king, presiding over games and processions, but plays were also performed with the characters in the roles, 28 sometimes performed at church ales, a means by which churches raised funds. 29 A complaint of 1492, brought to the Star Chamber, accuses men of acting riotously by coming to a fair as Robin hood and his men; the accused defended themselves on the grounds that the practice was a long-standing custom to raise money for churches. 30 It is from the association with the may games that Robin's romantic attachment to maid Marian (or Marion) apparently stems. A "Robin and Marion" figured in 13th-century French ' pastourelles ' (of which jeu statement de robin et Marion. . 1280 is a literary version) and presided over the French may festivities, 'this Robin and Marion tended to preside, in the intervals of the attempted seduction of the latter by a series of knights, over a variety of rustic pastimes.' 31 In the jeu.
In the early ballad, robin's men usually kneel before him in strict obedience: in a gest of Robyn Hode the king even observes that ' his men are more at his byddynge/Then my men be at myn. ' their social status, as yeomen, is shown by their weapons; they use swords rather than quarterstaffs. The only character to use a quarterstaff in the early ballads is the potter, and Robin hood does not take to a staff until the 17th century robin hood and Little john. 23 The political and social assumptions underlying the early robin hood ballads have long been controversial. It has been influentially argued. Holt that the robin hood legend was cultivated in the households of the gentry, and that it would be mistaken to see in him a figure of peasant revolt. He is not a peasant but a yeoman, and his tales make no mention of the complaints of the peasants, such as oppressive taxes.
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The character of Robin in these first texts is rougher edged than in his later incarnations. In "Robin hood and the monk for example, he is shown as quick tempered and violent, assaulting Little john for defeating him in an archery contest; in the same ballad Much the miller's Son casually kills a 'little page ' in the course of rescuing. 17 no extant ballad early actually shows Robin hood 'giving to the poor although in a "a gest of Robyn Hode" Robin does make a large loan to an unfortunate knight, which he does not in the end require to be repaid; 18 and later. Of my good he shall haue some, yf he be a por man. 19 As it happens the next pdf traveller is not poor, but it seems in context that Robin hood is stating a general policy.
The first explicit statement to the effect that Robin hood habitually robbed from the rich to give the poor can be found in John Stow 's Annales of England (1592 about a century after the publication smu of the gest. 20 21 But from the beginning Robin hood is on the side of the poor; the gest"s Robin hood as instructing his men that when they rob: loke ye do no husbonde harme That tilleth with his ploughe. No more ye shall no gode yeman That walketh by gren-wode shawe; ne no knyght ne no squyer That wol be a gode felawe. 22 And in its final lines the gest sums up: he was a good outlawe, and dyde pore men moch god. Within Robin hood's band, medieval forms of courtesy rather than modern ideals of equality are generally in evidence.
8 It is commonly stated as fact that maid Marian and a jolly friar (at least partly identifiable with Friar Tuck) entered the legend through the may games. 9 Early ballads The earliest surviving text of a robin hood ballad is the 15th century " Robin hood and the monk ". 10 This is preserved in Cambridge University manuscript.5.48. Written after 1450, 11 it contains many of the elements still associated with the legend, from the nottingham setting to the bitter enmity between Robin and the local sheriff. The first printed version is a gest of Robyn Hode (c. .
1500 a collection of separate stories that attempts to unite the episodes into a single continuous narrative. 12 After this comes " Robin hood and the potter 13 contained in a manuscript. . "The potter" is markedly different in tone from "The monk whereas the earlier tale is 'a thriller' 14 the latter is more comic, its plot involving trickery and cunning rather than straightforward force. Other early texts are dramatic pieces, the earliest being the fragmentary robyn Hod and the Shryff off Notyngham 15 (c. . These are particularly noteworthy as they show Robin's integration into may day rituals towards the end of the middle Ages; Robyn Hod and the Shryff off Notyngham, among other points of interest, contains the earliest reference to Friar Tuck. The plots of neither "the monk" nor "the potter" are included in the gest; and neither is the plot of " Robin hood and guy of Gisborne which is probably at least as old as those two ballads although preserved in a more recent copy. Each of these three ballads survived in a single copy, so it is unclear how much of the medieval legend has survived, and what has survived may not be typical of the medieval legend. It has been argued that the fact that the surviving ballads were preserved in written form in itself makes it unlikely they were typical; in particular, stories with an interest for the gentry were by this view more likely to be preserved. 16 The story of Robin's aid to the 'poor knight' that takes up much of the gest may be an example.
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While the precise meaning of this term changed over time, including free retainers of an aristocrat and small landholders, it always referred to commoners. The essence of it in the present context was 'neither a knight nor a peasant or "husbonde" but something in between'. 5 Artisans eksempel (such as millers) were among those regarded as 'yeomen' in the 14th century. 6 From the 16th century on, there were attempts to elevate robin hood to the nobility and in two extremely influential plays, Anthony munday presented him at the very end of the 16th century as the earl of Huntingdon, as he is still commonly presented. 7 As well as ballads, the legend was also transmitted by 'robin hood games' or plays that were an important part of the late medieval and early modern may day festivities. The first record of a robin hood game was in 1426 in Exeter, but the reference does not indicate how old or widespread this custom was at the time. The robin hood games are known to have flourished in the later 15th and 16th centuries.
The latter has been part of the legend since at least the later 15th century, when he is mentioned in a robin hood play script. 2 In modern popular culture, robin hood is typically seen as a contemporary appeal and supporter of the late-12th-century king Richard the lionheart, robin being driven to outlawry during the misrule of Richard's brother John while richard was away at the Third Crusade. This view first gained currency in the 16th century. 3 It is not supported by the earliest ballads. The early compilation, a gest of Robyn Hode, names the king as 'Edward and while it does show Robin hood accepting the king's pardon, he later repudiates it and returns to the greenwood. The oldest surviving ballad, robin hood and the monk, gives even less support to the picture of Robin hood as a partisan of the true king. The setting of the early ballads is usually attributed by scholars to either the 13th century or the 14th, although it is recognised they are not necessarily historically consistent. 4 The early ballads are also quite clear on Robin hood's social status: he is a yeoman.
late 13th century. At least eight plausible origins to the story have been mooted by historians and folklorists, including suggestions that "Robin hood" was a stock alias used by outlaws in general who did not want to reveal their identity. Contents, ballads and tales, the first clear reference to 'rhymes of Robin hood' is from the alliterative poem. Piers Plowman, thought to have been composed in the 1370s, but the earliest surviving copies of the narrative ballads that tell his story date to the second half of the 15th century, or the first decade of the 16th century. In these early accounts, robin hood's partisanship of the lower classes, his. Marianism and associated special regard for women, his outstanding skill as an archer, his anti-clericalism, and his particular animosity towards the. Sheriff of Nottingham are already clear. 1, little john, much the miller's Son and Will Scarlet (as Will 'Scarlok' or 'Scathelocke all appear, although not yet maid Marian or Friar Tuck.
These include his lover, maid Marian, his band of outlaws, the. Merry men, and his chief opponent, the. The Sheriff is often depicted as assisting. Prince john in usurping the rightful but absent. King Richard, to whom Robin hood remains loyal. A common theme of the story is that Robin is a champion of the common people fighting against injustice, whilst remaining loyal to the rightful ruler. He became a popular folk figure in the late middle Ages, and the earliest known ballads featuring him are from literature the 15th century. There have been numerous variations and adaptations of the story over the last six hundred years, and the story continues to be widely represented in literature, film and television. Robin hood is considered one of the best known tales of English folklore.
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For other uses, see, robin hood (disambiguation). Robin hood is a legendary heroic outlaw originally depicted in, english folklore and subsequently featured in literature and film. According to legend, he was a highly skilled archer and swordsman. In some versions of the legend he is depicted as being of noble birth, mother and having fought in the. Crusades before returning to, england to find his lands have been taken by the. In other versions this is not the case and he is instead born into the yeoman class. Traditionally depicted dressed in, lincoln green, he is said to have robbed from the rich and given to the poor. Through retellings, additions, and variations a body of familiar characters associated with Robin hood have been created.