Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Robin Hood, actually the young earl of Huntingdon, whose father has been wrongly dispossessed of his estates. Robin Hood becomes an outlaw when he kills one of the king’s stags after being taunted by foresters to show his skill with a longbow. Under sentence of death for killing the animal, the young nobleman flees to Sherwood Forest, where he gathers together a band of outlaws known as the Merry Men. Robin earns his place of leadership by outfighting and outshooting his comrades, all of whom become intensely loyal followers. Robin enjoys playing tricks on the authorities sent to capture him and gains support by helping the poor. Although eventually he is pardoned by Richard the Lion-Hearted and given back his title and estates, Robin becomes homesick for his old ways and returns to life in Sherwood Forest and outlawry. He eventually is killed by a cousin, the prioress at Kirkley Abbey, who bleeds him to death under the guise of giving him medical treatment.
Little John, a huge man who joins the Merry Men after being bested by Robin in a shooting match. As a lark, Little John spends six months in the service of the sheriff of Nottingham, Robin Hood’s enemy. Little John is with Robin at the time of the hero’s death, though he arrives too late to save him. He buries Robin under the ancient oak where his last arrow fell.
Friar Tuck, a hedge priest who...
(The entire section is 457 words.)
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