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For the first essay, you will be required to produce an effective argument based on
the novel, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, by Howard Pyle. You will be required to use at
least two of the scholarly articles provided in this unit
Essay Question: How does Howard Pyle’s outlaw narrative establish fundamental
concepts of what it means to be a hero?
Consider the following questions as you brainstorm and develop a thesis:
Characters: Is Robin Hood a hero? Is he always portrayed as a hero? How do other
Historical Relevance: How does the context of the novel influence the characters and
themes of the story? How might this novel represent the values and beliefs of its era, and how
might audiences respond to Robin Hood’s symbolism through these tales?
Authority: How are authoritative figures portrayed, and how do the outlaws respond to
these characters? What is the social structure within the law-abiding world, and what is the
structure among the outlaws?
Laws and Moral Codes: What laws do the outlaws abandon, and which do they choose to
uphold? What new laws are created to promote order in an unlawful life? How do various
characters react to these rules, and what are the consequences for breaking them?
Outlaw Life: Are these characters forced into the outlaw life, or do they choose to
become rebels? How does the community react to them?
Research: Choose at least two of the following articles to synthesize in your essay.
? Graham Seal, “The Robin Hood Principle”
? John Cech, “Pyle’s Robin Hood: Still Merry After All These Years”
? Scott MacLeod, “Howard Pyle’s Robin Hood: The Middle Ages for Americans”
? Jill P. May, “The Hero’s Woods: Pyle’s Robin Hood and the Female Reader”
5 – 7 pages in length