Robin Hood (1460 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • Laurence Belingard (Université d'Avignon)


The first literary reference to Robin Hood appears in William Langland’s Piers Plowman (1377), where Piers claims that although he does not know his Pater Noster, he is familiar with rhymes of Robin Hood, thus acknowledging the alleged pagan or at least secular origin of the character through his presence in May Games. Other records reveal the difficulty in assigning Robin Hood to a date and the changing nature of the outlaw. In his rhyming chronicle of Scotland, The Original Chronicle completed by 1420, Andrew de Wyntoun refers to Robin as a renowned forest outlaw under the date 1283-85. The Scottish chronicler Walter Bower, continuing John Fordun’s Scotichronicon, describes him as a “famous murderer�…

Belingard, Laurence. "Robin Hood". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 August 2004
[, accessed 27 October 2016.]