"No, you're right!" I stuttered out, and continued, "My blog is all about comparisons. I was thinking about maybe you could do a guest post for my blog."
Fortunately she was excited with this idea, and so I am pleased to present the first ever guest post on Lore and Literature:
The Parallels of King David and Robin Hood
By Renée Du'Quatre
Ever since I was a child, I have loved the story of Robin Hood. It has always been one of my favorites. It’s a fun, adventurous, romantic story with memorable characters that you immediately grow to love. When I was little I would take my toys, assign them a character from the story, and play for hours.
Over the years I’ve seen many different versions of Robin Hood and read over the history of King David many times. As I learned more and studied each of them individually, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the two legendary, historical heroes.
I believe it started when I was still in either elementary or middle school and we had to read a novelized version of the life of King David called The Fugitive King by Elizabeth Rice Handford. It struck me then how similar David’s life (before he was crowned king) was to that of Robin Hood.
Now, I don’t know if this is just me and how my strange, overactive mind works, but personally I don’t believe it takes a lot of imagination to see all the similarities here.
Granted, with Robin Hood most of the details in the characters and the story line vary depending on the version you read or watch. But I think most of the details listed below are ones that most adaptations generally stick to and are traditionally accepted by those who enjoy or are familiar with the story.
After a few days of researching I was able to compile this list:
Robin, or Sir Robin of Locksley, was a knight who was pursued by the oppressive ruler Prince John.
David was a shepherd, (who as a young man was anointed to be the next king of Israel, 1 Samuel 16:1-13), who became appointed as head over the king’s men of war, (1 Samuel 18:5) and was later resented and hunted by King Saul. (1 Samuel chapter 19.)
Both were honorable men with titles and a promising future. Both were declared fugitives and were savagely pursued by the active rulers of their land and forced into hiding for years. (1 Samuel 26:1; 27:1.)
Robin is famous for using his bow and arrow.
David is known for using his sling and a smooth stone. (1 Samuel 17:40, 49.)
Robin is known for taking down his foe, Sir Guy of Gisbourne, (in some adaptations an assassin, in others a fellow nobleman) who was sent to kill him.
David is known for taking down the giant, Philistine champion, Goliath. (1 Samuel chapter 17.)
Robin had his ‘Merry Men.’
David had his ‘Mighty Men.’ (2 Samuel 23:8-39.)
Robin’s best friend was ‘Little John.’
David’s best friend was Prince Jonathan. (1 Samuel 18:1-4, 19:1-20:42.)
Jonathan and David used a bow and three arrows as a signal in I Samuel 20:18-23; something Robin and Little John would be accustomed to do. (In 2 Samuel 1:17-27 David wrote The Song of the Bow in mourning over the death of Jonathan.)
Robin was in love with Maid Marian who (in certain versions) was a relative (or ward) to the king (in early adaptations she is a shepherdess).
David’s first wife, Michal, was the second daughter of King Saul. (1 Samuel 18:17-30.)
Both women were used by the callous rulers, (the men whose responsibility it was to protect them) as bait/a snare in order to trap the men they loved. (1 Samuel 18:17-30) However, instead of trapping them they proved to be helpful assets in their escape. (1 Samuel 19:15-17.)
Robin and his ‘Merry Men’ liked to sing and are known through ballads.
David was a musician who wrote many songs and poems.
Both were God-fearing men, (David was a man after God’s own heart [1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22]) who were associated with godly men.
David was anointed by the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 16:1-13) and goes to him for safety when hunted by King Saul in 1 Samuel 19:18. Later when he is king, David is rebuked by Nathan the prophet for sinning with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:1-14) and by the prophet Gad for an unspecified sin in 2 Samuel 24:1-17. (Possibly his sin was taking a census of the people, an act of pride instead of relying wholly on God.) Gad is also referred to as David’s Seer in 2 Samuel 24:11.
Robin would occasionally disguise himself like a beggar or farmer to spy on his enemies or extract information from them.
David pretended to be insane before Achish the king of Gath when he was in fear of his life. (1 Samuel 21:10-15.)
Although they are both highly acclaimed heroes and usually praised for their valiant efforts, they are also notoriously remembered for their faults. Robin was an outlaw and a thief. David was an adulterer and a murderer.
I’m sure there are probably more similarities to the two heroes that I missed.
Overall, my reason for pointing out these similarities is purely out of love and respect for both legendary heroes. It was fun for me to consider, and then take the time to do some personal research on each man.
I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed researching.
Note: I put Biblical references to David but no references to Robin, because the Bible is literal, factual history whereas the stories of Robin Hood (as I previously mentioned) are mostly based off ballads and traditions that vary; most of which are listed on the Wikipedia website and can be referenced there if desired.