HOOD, Nonix. The hero of a group of English ballads, which represent him as an ma'am, dwelling in Sherwood forest, NI iltinghainshire. or in Darn-Aide, a woodland district in the West Riding of Yorkshire-. The earliest known men tion of him is in the second version of l'iers I'lotratati I 11 13771, where .sloth says he "knows rymes of Robyn Hood" (sk,,,f, v. II. 401, 4112). The ablest extant ballad of which be is hero is "A I :este of Robyn assigned to about 1400. This la•n', eonsisting of 451; four-line stanzas, is in magnitude almost an epic. Among succeeding ballads, of which Professor Child collected thirty-nine. are "Robin flood and Ony of (*.borne." "Robin Hood mid the Monk," and "Rollin llood's Death." As early as the last half of the fifteenth century Robin Hood became a popular character in the semi-dramatic eclebra lions of Nlay-day, both in England and in Scot land, and later in the regular drama. as in Il•n .1e nson's beautiful pastoral The Sod Shepherd. Kohn) is the ideal outlaw, eourtemis, liberal. and reverent. Skillful with the how, he shoots the Ding's deer, but be loves the King. Ile takes from the rich clergy their superfluous gon41.4, littt. what he 110('S not need himself he gives to the poor. Ile is chivalrous toward all women, and reveres the Virgin His chief foe is the sheriff of 'Cot I ingliam. \Vitt' him is a numerous band. There are little .Tolin, Scathlock, or Sea rlook. Friar
Tuck, .Nlaid :)larian, \limb the Miler's Son, and several others. In his illness Robin goes to a prioress, who is his eousin, to be bled. She al lows him to bleed to death.
Unsuecessful attempts have been made to prove the real existence of Robin. True. his ca reer as eventually developed has all the details of authentic history; but these were taken from the ballads themselves, or frown semi-historical personage.s, a, ITereward the \Vake. and Wallace, and applied to Robin. Others have tried to eon neet the :.111•1:11111• 114)40 with Woden, the chief of the Norse gods. or with 11741r (warrior), another Norse divinity. it is now rather thought to he a variant of Hotel:en, an elf in fle•nianic folk tales. Robin is of Course a diminutive of Robert. Robin flood then seems to have been at first only an elf of the woods, about whom later gathered tyideal adventures of the outlaw. Robin Hood is the hero of a comic opera by Reginald De Novell (q.v.). and a late drama by Tennyson. Thr l'or(slers. has Robin Hood as its main char acter. Consult : Child, English aml Scottish Bal lads (Roston, et Bishop Pr rey's Polio, ed. Hales and Furnivall, vol. i. (1.,nwInn. : Nitsnti. Robin flood ( London, 1795, new : and for an attempt to prove the istence of robin Hood. Hunter. Great Hero of the .Incirat .11instrelsy of England (London.