After the Celts, the Romans and the Saxons, Britain was invaded by the Normans. The famous date 1066, the Battle of Hastings won by William the Conqueror, marked the beginning of a period of great changes and saw the successions on the political scene of remarkable figures like Thomas à Beckett, Richard I, his brother John Lackland. Richard I was always fighting abroad in the Crusades on the Holy Land and his brother John ruled in his place. It was a period of heavy taxation for the poor Saxons who had to give their lands to the new usurpers. King John, with the notorious Sheriff of Nottingham on his side, was one of the worst ruler Britain ever knew and ballads and stories found new subjects to deal with. Robin Hood is surely one of the most well known.
Robin Hood (or Robert Locksley) was a skilled archer and swordsman, who robbed from the rich and gave the poor, assisted by a group of fellow outlaws, the “Merry Men.” of Sherwood Forest. Traditionally Robin Hood and his men are depicted wearing Lincoln green clothes. Probably he was a commoner and the origin of the legend is rooted in the stories told by real outlaws, or from ballads. Later he was described as a dispossessed nobleman made into an outlaw to defend the rights of the poor British population.
Robin was a very popular folk figure starting in the medieval period and his fame is still alive thanks to novels , films, and television.
Some examples: Robin and Marian shot in 1975 by Richard Lester; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves a 1991 American adventure film directed by Kevin Reynolds; John Irvin’s Robin Hood appeared in 1991; in 1993 Mel Brooks directed and produced Robin Hood: Men in Tights; in 2010 was Ridley Scott’s turn with Robin Hood and Robin Hood: Ghosts of Sherwood, is an upcoming which will probably be shown in winter 2011.
fighting: to fight, struggle (combattere)
ruled. to rule, govern (governare)
skilled: very able (abile)
archer = arcere
outlaw: criminal, robber (fuorilegge)
commoner: a man of common people (persona comune)
dispossessed: deprived (privato)