Monday, February 9, 2009

Robin Hood Analyzed, Possibly Beyond All Recognition

DeLaynie has added a new movie to the obsession list. It was the first dvd that Edwin ever bought. Robin Hood (the one with a fox as Robin Hood) is spinning itself silly in the dvd player these days, along with Toy Story. This has led me to debating the question: "Is Robin Hood really a good guy?"

Edwin and I both love Robin Hood as a character, and as a story. The BBC has an hour-long show, also called Robin Hood, that we love. We've watched it on dvd via NetFlix. It's clever, dramatic, and humorous. And clean, too. We love cheering for the so very cool Robin of Loxley as he battles the Sheriff (who is the main bad guy on the show, as opposed to Prince John). In fact, I've been checking the BBC website on an almost daily basis to see when the season premier will occur, and if it will be on the net.

But, are Robin Hood's actions justified? Edwin, who is normally an idealist all the way, asserted that it was necessary to steal in order to survive in a country with such a corrupt government. I disagreed, citing such verses Matthew 22:21 ("Give to Caesar what is Caesar's") and Romans 13:1-2 ("All authority comes from God"). Edwin relented. By way of reminder, these verses were written during a time when a very, very corrupt government was in place. (They were brutally killing Christians at the time.) No wiggle room there. So Robin Hood is a sinner.
(Edit: "Mama of the Peas" makes a good point in regard to the situation of sinner-heroes (see comments). This is not to say that there are any heroes who are free from sin, except Jesus Christ. Any movie or television hero is also a sinner. The specific problem here is that the act of heroism in itself is a sin.)

The fact is, we love cheering for a bad guy. If we didn't, Ocean's 11 (12 and 13, too) wouldn't have done very well. I love it too. I love it when a move or show is able to make me feel justified in cheering for the semi-bad guy to conquer. They're sneaky in how they do it, too. The way to make someone feel that the sin is completely acceptable is to make the person who would normally be the good guy into the worse guy. Robin Hood may be wrong, but Prince John is wronger. (I know that's incorrect; I'm going for drama here, people.) It's a winning formula.

I'm not preaching against Robin Hood, or Ocean and his co-conspirators. It's more important that we prevent this idea that the ends justify the means from seeping into our way of thinking. I'm going to keep on cheering for the sinner-hero, but I'm going to be aware that that is what he is. Spin on, Robin. Spin on!


the Mama of the Peas said...

At the same time, all we have are sinner-hero's considering anyone we idolize is a sinner.

But I do understand the point you are making.

Hannah A. said...

You make a good point. I thought about that as I was writing. What I mean is that his very act of heroism is sin. We deem his sin virtue. That's the problem. Obviously, whenever we cheer for anyone, we're cheering for a sinner, but the problem is that in Robin Hood and the Ocean movies, we're cheering for the sin itself.

Rachel said...

Interesting paradigm that a corrupt government made Robin Hood steal from the rich and give to the poor who were unable to thrive in the said corrupt government, but now, our corrupt government steals from the rich and gives to the poor, making it hard for the RICH to thrive in the said corrupt government.

Just a thought.