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Robin Hood: Some Reflections

Posted by RonPrice, 10 December 2014 · 1909 views

Robin Hood: Some Reflections ROBIN HOOD
and......The Way We Really Were
Part 1:
Last night I watched some, but not all, of the story of Robin Hood, the heroic outlaw found in English folklore.  According to legend he was also a highly skilled archer and swordsman. Traditionally depicted as being dressed in Lincoln green, he is often portrayed as "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor" alongside his band of "Merry Men".  Robin Hood became a popular folk figure in the medieval period, and continues to be widely represented in modern literature, films and television.
Robin Hood is a 2010 British-American epic adventure film based on the Robin Hood legend, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett.1  It was released in over 50 countries in the second week of May 2010, just as I was beginning my retirement at the age of 65 on two old-age pensions.  This adventure film was the opening film at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.
Part 2:
Readers with the interest can access all sorts of sources on the internet to find out a wealth of detail regarding this film. The historicity, that is, the existence and life-narrative of Robin Hood has been debated for centuries. Modern academic opinion maintains that the legend is based in part on a historical person, although there is considerable scholarly debate as to his actual identity.  A difficulty with any such historical research is compounded by the fact that "Robert" was, in medieval Englanda very common given name, and "Robin", was its very common diminutive, especially in the 13th century.
I don't want to delve into the intricacies associated with either the film or the historical person. I leave that to readers who are also keen movie-goers, as I say, to excavate the accuracy and inaccuracy of the film, how much money it grossed, and some of the reviews now available.  -Ron Price with thanks to 1Channel 7 TV, 8:30, 9 December 2014.
Part 3:
I am interested here in exploring my study of the Middle Ages during my 70 year lifespan. I have written extensively on my website at this link: http://www.ronpricee...Y-medieval.html, and readers can access several dozen pages of my commentary on that period of history.  I could only find one prose-poem in my oeuvre that even mentions the Middle Ages and I quote it below:
Part 3.1:
Four hundred years(1519 to 1919) after Ferdinand Magellan and 237 men left Seville1 and began the first successful attempt of humankind to circumnavigate the globe, ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Tablets of the Divine Plan were unveiled in New York.  The early 16th century is generally seen as the end of the middle ages and the beginning of the early modern period.
Those Tablets are generally seen by the Bahá'í community as beginning a new pioneering period.  They initiated another attempt to circumnavigate the world but, this time, in spiritual terms.  An English edition of all those  tablets was published in 1936 just as the North American Baha’is were planning their first formal teaching program, the Seven Year Plan, which began in May 1937.  The year I joined the Baha’i Faith, in 1959, those Tablets were published in book form under the title Tablets of the Divine Plan for the first time.2-Ron Price with thanks to 1&2 Wikipedia.
Part 3.2:
Only 18 men returned to Spain
in that harrowing voyage and
this new voyage was also just
as harrowing and is not for the
timid and the overwrought, not
for the vainly pious, those who
are pusillanimous of spirit, nor
the bloodless prigs among us...
This much is plain: the journey
is not for those wary & in despair
of love------this trip on unvariable
storm-lashed brigs....unreasonable
rains, long waits for salient doves
to bring living twigs....with a lean
provision of devotion, with weeks
& months of never-ending dark.
This is no vacation with unhygienic
perils such as chronic & committed
rapture or incipient dedication; forget
your notions of some luxury cruise.1
It was that way for Magellan, and
circumnavigation still has problems
in this new globalizing-planetization
age we all live in this its new terrors.
1 With thanks to Roger White, “A Parable for the Wrong People,” The Witness of Pebbles, George Ronald, Oxford, 1981, pp.69-71.
Ron Price
19/7/ '09 to 10/12/'14.
Part 4:
Until my first two years at university, 1963 to 1965,  in Ontario I took no courses in, did no study of,  the period known as the Middle Ages.  I took one course in the first year of an arts degree, and one in my second year, while studying history and philosophy, courses that covered some part of that period in history.  In my years of being a teacher and tutor, a lecturer and adult educator, from 1967 to 2005, I often read about what I always found to be a complex period in history.  But, then, I have found that the more I know about a period in history, the more complex it gets.
Historical period drama is a film genre in which stories are based upon historical events and famous people. Some historical dramas are docudramas which attempt an accurate portrayal of a historical event or biography.  Of course, it is only accurate to the degree that the available historical research will allow. Other historical dramas are fictionalized tales that are based on an actual person and their deeds, such as Braveheart, which is loosely based on the 13th-century knight William Wallace's fight for Scotland's independence.
There are now dozens of films and docudramas beginning, arguably, in 1937 with Scipio Africanus: The Defeat of Hannibal. Those involving the Middle Ages include: Alexander Nevsky in 1938; Theodora, Slave Empress in 1954, The Raid of the Aegean in 1946, The Life and Death of King John in 1951, and several others.  For more on this genre go to Wikipedia.
Part 5:
I remember well being thrown
information by the truckload
as I went through those first
two years of university back
in those calamitous years of
the 1960s..I remember, too,
those little stories of Robin
Hood on our TV before my
parents sold it to save me
from being inundated by
trivia as the world tried to
forget the terrors of those
war years, the holocaust,
the A-bomb, & at the same
time drown us all in simple,
superficial proprieties, far
removed from genitalia.1
Then rock-'n' roll woke us
up from our day-dream of
Mr Clean, luxury without
stress, Negroes, Indians &
all those Hollywood's icons.
Those docudramas in cinema
would have helped my teaching
of history; beginning about the
time my parents met in the late
1930s, and at the same time as
the Baha'i community launched
its 1st systematic teaching Plans,
they help to bring history alive to
the millions who find it a very dry
graveyard of distant information!!
1 D.T. Miller and M. Nowak, The Fifties: The Way We Really Were, Doubleday & Co. Ltd., N.Y., 1977, p. 302.
Ron Price

June 2019

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