The Dark Shade of Lincoln Green: Violence, Cruelty, and Snger in the Robin Hood Legend
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The article discusses the themes of violence, aggression and cruelty in Robin Hood texts of various provenance. First, it focuses on the earliest ballads, the original source of the motif which has for various reasons been abandoned and neglected in later retellings until the second half of the twentieth century. The second part discusses the above mentioned themes in modern ‘texts’ – two novels by Angus Donald, Outlaw (2009) and Holy Warrior (2010), as well as two film adaptations of the legend, one by John Irvin (1991) and the other by Ridley Scott (2010), both of which explore the medieval origins of the story in a classic Hollywood frame. The paper analyses the above mentioned themes in the context of legal authority, presenting Robin as the ultimate agent of justice. It also disputes the authors’ use of the coercion mechanism as the factor influencing the outlaw’s distinctions between right and wrong.
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