illustration of Robin Hood standing in the forest with his bow in one hand

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

by Howard Pyle

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My son has an assignment for his sixth grade class which requires writing a review of Howard Pyle's The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood and then giving a short presentation. The presentation should cover a character portrayal based on an extract from the book. Although I understand the book review part of the assignment, I find the second part of the assignment confusing.

Expert Answers

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The point of the second part of the assignment is having your son work on reading comprehension and analysis. What the teacher wants to see is your son taking a single passage from the book which illuminates one of the characters in the novel and using it to talk about the nature of the character.

For example, he might decide to examine the story of Robin Hood and the butcher. In this story, we have a short section in which Robin Hood waylays a butcher, and the butcher states:

"... many a time have I heard thy deeds both sung and spoken of. But Heaven forbid that thou shouldst take aught of me! An honest man am I, and have wronged neither man nor maid; so trouble me not, good master, as I have never troubled thee."

This extract shows that Robin Hood's ethical standards have become such general knowledge and are applied so consistently that the Butcher implicitly trusts him. In analyzing this passage (both this quotation and the subsequent paragraph), your son should talk about how the episode shows us the admirable character of the yeomanry, or middle class farmers and tradespeople, and how Robin Hood himself fits in with them in terms of character and morals.

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