It is one of those myths that Hollywood just can’t get enough of; Robin Hood and his merry band of woodsmen. Different writers, directors, and actors have put their stamp on the character; some looking to create good entertainment, others trying to be “true” to history, still more trying to make a statement about the world. It is the latter, those entertainers that dare to dabble in allegory, that built the simple character of English folklore into a powerful symbol of political strife.
The various stories leave us with a multitude of questions, and all have a bearing on the politics of our 21st Century democracy. Did Robin Hood steal from the rich and give to the poor? If he was the earliest example of wealth redistribution, was his pursuit noble or nefarious? Did Robin Hood simply steal back money taken by the rich from the poor through evil taxation? Was Robin Hood the first know example of a liberal Democrat, or were the dashing rogue and his merry band the earliest incarnation of the Tea Party?