About Robin Hood


So, I read this essay by Robert Duncan titled, "The Truth and Life of Myth", which is the first essay in the book "Fictive Certainties", a book I had to read for the critical thesis this semester. The beginning of the essay has quotes from other and then elaboration from Duncan about the myth being proof of fact and not the fact the proof of myth.

Ponder that for a moment, and I'll go on with the blog entry.

I'm also dabbling, when taking time off from the critical thesis, in watching BBC's television series "Robin Hood." It is a merry time, watching the merry men outsmart the Sheriff of Nottingham. But what is more pressing, in light of the TLM essay, is the question: what truth does the myth of Robin Hood represent?

I have a copy of a version of Robin Hood on my children's books bookshelf. I got it for ten cents at the book sale at Tufts library two summers ago, when I first moved back to Mass. I read it this morning, because I had the leisure. (Eye roll. Oh God, I have so much leisure ahead of me...)

This version is very pared down and geared toward boys, because there are no women in the story whatsoever. Also, there's no Friar Tuck and no Prince John. It's by Orville Prescott from Legacy Books. In this one, Robin Hood and his men are loafers, skilled at fighting, charmingly robbing the rich and valiantly giving to the poor. They're like Dude Lebowski's but instead of being burn-out slobs from weed, they're merry and energetic from ale. Today's equivalent of those care-free hippie Bowdoin kids & Batesies, who wear their hair floppy and scruffy t shirts but drive BMWs; who go to keggers and volunteer at the food shelter, but major in finance. One day, when the world hits them, they'll stop trying to Free Tibet and instead invest in Chinese manufacturing plants or something to that effect. LUGs - but in this case I mean Liberals Until Graduation. That's what Robin Hood's merry men remind me of...

Anyway, this gets me no closer to the original question of what truth the myth of Robin Hood represents. I wonder if the History Channel ever did a documentary on it, like they do with the Knights Templar and Freemasons...I bet the Robin Hood legend is tied to something like that.

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