Lecture presents a look at the legend of Robin Hood

Brittany Hill, Reporter

Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society presented a lecture over the Robin Hood legend by Mikee Deloney to an audience of about 70 at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art Tuesday night, Nov. 7. Deloney is an associate professor of English at Abilene Christian University and is an expert on medievalism and Robin Hood studies.

During the lecture, Deloney discussed the origins of the Robin Hood legend and reviewed some of the film and television adaptations of the legend.

“Part of the reason it [Robin Hood] lends itself so well to adaptation is because there is not really a strong origin story for people to point out and say ‘uh oh, that’s not like the original.’,” Deloney said, “As far as we know, there is no original,”

Deloney said that during the 12th century, Robin Hood was a name found multiple times throughout criminal records and at this point historians have accepted that Robin Hood was more of an alias than an actual person.

“Robin Hood is not a person, instead he is a role people take on,” Deloney said. “As I speak, there are five to eight Robin Hood films in some kind of production and they kind of come in waves. And it’s been a while since Russell Crowes, so I guess we’re due for another one soon,”

One of the Robin Hood films Deloney discussed was the 1993 adaptation, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, a musical comedy directed by Mel Brooks. Deloney made note of how Brooks used hip-hop music, a genre that was still considered to be a violent, outlaw type of music in the ’90s, within the film to demonstrate the rebelliousness of the characters.

“When Brooks did this film, he was going for subversive, he was going for anti-authority, he was sampling, which the DJs who were sampling were stealing the music,” Deloney said, “And so, what Brooks did was he put Robin Hood in the inner city because that was the most subversive thing he could do at the time.”

For the audience, the lecture was an in-depth look at the history of the man in tights.

“I thought the lecture was very informative,” Courtney Kohl, history sophomore, said, “I liked how she talked about the history of the Robin Hood tale before going into the film versions.”

“I really liked it,” Carmen Yeatts, a non-student friend of Kohl, said, “I never knew the history of Robin Hood and it was really cool to learn about it more. The Disney movie wasn’t really my favorite growing up but it was how I knew Robin Hood, I never really thought about the history before it.”

Robin Hood adaptations through the years

  • 1922 – Robin Hood starring Douglas Fairbanks
  • 1938 – The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn
  • 1973 – Walt Disney Robin Hood featuring the characters as anthropomorphic animals
  • 1976 – Robin and Marian starring Sean Connery and Audery Hepburn
  • 1991 – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner
  • 1993 – Robin Hood: Men in Tights starring Cary Elwes
  • 2006 – 2009 – Robin Hood, BBC television series starring Jonas Armstrong
  • 2010 – Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe


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