“Lythe and listin, gentilmen / That be of frebore blode; I shall you tel of a gode yeman / His name was Robyn Hode” (A Gest of Robyn Hode). The tale of Robin Hood has been told many times in verse, in prose, in play and in film, with the writers, directors and singers offering almost as many versions. In 2010, Ridley Scott presented his take on the tale with the movie “Robin Hood”, starring Russell Crowe in the titular role. Ridley Scott reimagines the tale to be set in the last year of the eleventh century with scenes ranging from France to London to Nottingham. His goal is to tell how the legend of Robin Hood began and thus it tells of his return to England, followed by a rise to fame in battle with the French and culminating with his becoming an outlaw. While the film is entertaining, the historic basis is questionable.
This time around, Robin Hood is introduced to us as Robin Longstride, a yeoman in King Richard the Lionheart’s army. While there is ample evidence of Robin Hood having been in the king’s service, that king was always Edward, which one is not made clear, and there is no indication he was a Crusader (Holt 39-40).
Robin is quickly shown to be an experienced warrior and an honest man. He is so honest in fact, that when asked by King Richard if God will be pleased with his sacrifice, meaning the Crusade, Robin says that God would not be and recounts an incident of the slaughtering women and children and how it made King Richard’s men godless. As one might expect, the king felt those words were naive at best and had Robin, along with his companions, bound in the stocks. At this point we learn Robin is somewhat of a philosopher, believing he owes nothing to no man.
Robin’s fellow prisoners are Little John, Will S...
... middle of paper ...
...ussell Crowe did not have their hearts in the story. Whatever the cause, viewers seem to have expected Gladiator or Kingdom of Heaven and were left wanting. Box office sales and critic reviews showed this film will not likely have a large or lasting impact as anything other than a cautionary tale on movie making.
“A Gest of Robin Hood.” The Robin Hood Project. University of Rochester, Web. 12 Mar.
Backman, Clifford R. The Cultures of the West: A History. New York: Oxford University Press,
Holt, J.C. Robin Hood. 3rd ed. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2011. Print.
The Real Robin Hood. Dir. M. David Melvin. Perf. Ridley Scott, Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett,
Dominic Kinnaird, Lockhart Ogilvie and William Hurt. History Channel, 2010. Film.
“Robin Hood.” Gale World History in Context. Trident Technical College. 1989. Web. 12 Mar.
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