Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hunting and Robin Hood...(do I smell a Disney clip?)

I was completely unaware of how influential hunting was throughout Western history. I always thought that hunting was an unrestricted activity practiced by any who desired food throughout the ages. I had no idea that hunting also served to stratify the different classes in society and factored into political and economic life. Although much of the article was interesting, I was particularly intrigued by the sections on Robin Hood. I never realized this character's prestige and prominent role in popular culture. People apparently rallied around Robin Hood's story as a way to protest the injustice of descriminatory hunting laws: "The Robin Hood of legend was, in turn, a potent symbol of popular protest" (pg. 21). Indeed this is demonstrated by the true story of Thomas Bright who raided an off-limts deer park in protest. "He went by the name of 'Robin Hood'; his followers, who included yeomen and artisans, were known as Robin Hood's 'merry men'" (pg. 22). In light of these facts I came to thinking: "Did Disney's interpretation of Robin Hood corespond with the actual medieval ballads about him?" I think we better watch a clip in class and find out! Any one else? Finally, I found it intriguing that both the commoners and the gentry found the tale of Robin Hood appealing. I always thought this was a tale of poor vs. rich, but instead, I guess Robin Hood is truly a tale of the empowered vs. the unimpowered or supressed, as even the gentry could be limited on where and when they could hunt.

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