Monday, March 5, 2012

My Favourite Characters #9: Robin Hood

Hm.  No picture for this character, since he's from a book that hasn't (yet) been published, and I'm not going to just go and find some random actor who plays Robin Hood :)   So you get a picture of a statue instead.
Honorable mentions for #9: Marcellus Gallio (The Robe), Albert Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie), and Henrik (Young Underground series)

First off, before I start, an important clarification.  There are many, many versions of Robin Hood as a character.  The one that is on this list however, is very specific.  He's from the pen of a teenage writer who I greatly admire, namely one Nairam of Sherwood.  if you want more background on her Robin, read this post on her blog. 

Storyline of Character:
He's an outlaw. Check for traditional Robin Hood stories.  He robs the rich, gives to the poor, and is a fantabulous archer.  Check again for traditional Robin Hood.  But beyond that, his story is unique.  There's no 'love at first sight' between Robin and Marian.  In this story, she believes he's a heretic and an outlaw.  She's also in love with the Sheriff of Nottingham and determined that she'll marry him and find the love she's never found from her father.  But Robin interferes. He's been a slave in the Sheriff's house and knows the things that happen to girls behind those walls.  After rescuing Marian from another rough group of outlaws, he convinces Marian to stay with his band in the forest. Marian plots to turn Robin in to the Sheriff and continues to treat him with the disrespect and condemnation she believes this heretic deserves.  But despite her plotting, he sticks with her, telling her the truth and showing genuine love for her.
(oh. Hard to describe this story in one paragraph.  Has anyone guessed that I struggle with being long-winded? So I'll stop here and not spoil the ending.)

Strong points of character:
Robin is more concerned with following Jesus than with keeping in step with the status quo.   He's an outlaw who steals from the rich to give to the oppressed poor and isn't afraid to tell off the political and religious leaders for their hypocricy.  But he's not all talk.  He truly cares for the poor and does more than just give them money.  He shares with them, works with them, stands with them and loves them in practical and emotional ways.
Also, his compassion extends itself in his actions in taking in Marian and loving her even when she is *cough* more than just a little rude to him- even when she betrays him. This compassion also shows up in the way he tells the Truth, regardless of the consequences because he cares about the PERSON who is hurting and needs God.
One more thing I really noticed is that Robin acknowledges his dependance on God's grace.  He knows he's failed in big ways and can't make himself good.  He's humble and knows he can't do anything apart from the radical mercy and strength that Jesus gives him.

Weak points of character:
If anything, he thinks too little of himself and he heaps too much guilt on himself for things in the past.  His self worth is very low and mistakes he's made haunt him and hurt him even once he's moved on from them.  Sometimes he has a hard time accepting grace and forgiveness.

What makes me Love this character:
His love for Jesus that spills out in his compassion for others and in his commitment to loving the unlovable.  In a very real way, Robin shows Marian what Jesus is like by his sacrifice and love.  I've read this book at least 2-3 times, and every time I finish it with a greater desire to love Jesus and love people.  A lot of that has to do with the example of what a life sold out to loving Jesus and loving people looks like in the person of Robin.
(And he's got a terrific sense of humor, especially when Marian or Much is around.)

Quotes from this character:

Robin gave a slight laugh. “I only wanted--I’ve tried--do I offend you?” 
“You are an outlaw.”
“Good reason for offense.” 
“But worse than that, you are a heretic.” 
“Because I love my God?” 
“You, a heretic? You cannot possibly love God!”
“No. Not as fully as he loves me. But weak as my love is, I--” 
“You ridiculous contradiction! One moment, you’re insulting and robbing a man of the church, the next you’re talking to me as if you were one of God’s most faithful servants.”
“I try to be.” The answer was quiet--too quiet. It was hard to see his face in the dim light. “I know that more often than not, I fail. But you aren’t going to make me give up, Marian. For me it is better to be labeled by the world a heretic then to know in my heart I am a hypocrite.”

1 comment:

  1. It's hard to describe how much this made my day(s).

    I am so glad you've gotten so much out of Robin!