This course will explore the legendary history of the medieval outlaw figure, Robin Hood, as it developed through the Medieval and Early Modern periods and into our own century. We will begin by examining historical and archaeological evidence for the person "Robin Hood" (including pre-Christian influences on his character) and then will consider Robin Hood's complex literary and cultural identity. We will also be concerned with various political uses to which the figure of Robin Hood was put in the Medieval and Early Modern periods and with Robin Hood's persistent role in modern British and American popular culture, especially the movies.
Three written assignments: a midterm and final examination (essay format) and a short critical paper (5 pp. typed, double-spaced).
Required Texts: Stephen Knight and Thomas Ohlgren, eds., Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales, 2d ed. (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2000) and Stephen Knight, Robin Hood, A Mythic Biography (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009).