The French Robin Hood Character in Shrek

I was at Summit tonight, and one of the sub-topics discussed was why the Robin Hood character in Shrek was French. My only conclusion was that it was so that he would be easilly beaten. (And by a woman no less.) I was doing some looking on the IMDB, and found nothing titled Robin Hood that had anything to do with France. If anyone has any insight about why that character, who is always portrayed as an Englishman, was portrayed as French, let me know.

When combing through the Robin Hood stuff, I found this article about a wierd Robin Hood show from the 80's.

I did, however, find some info on a play called Le Jue De Robin Et Marion, apparently known as a classic French Comic Opera. Wow, that sounds really bad. Other google searches I did, seem to back up that this is aFrench version of the Robin Hood story. Interesting. Perhaps that is the connection.

I found this article, explaining that it isn't Robin Hood, but rather Monsieur Hood.

If you want to know all sorts of meaningless trivia about Robin Hood, click here.


At 1/20/2005 10:56 AM, Blogger ted said...

Often the character of the Sherriff of Nottingham is said to be the nephew of King Richard the Lion Heart. He is French, to a point. In fact he was often refered to as Coeur de Leon, or Heart of the Lion, or a town in Idaho. Richard was not so much French as Norman.

Now we all have heard of Normandy. It is how we now pronounce what was once known as Northmandy, or land of the northmen. During the middle of the Viking age there was a French king, Charles, known as The Simple. He had the great idea of getting rid of the Viking raids on his lands by giving some land to some of these northmen in hopes that they would defend it from other northmen. This area was then named Northmandy and later shortened to Normandy. The leader of the Vikings, whose name sadly escapes me right now, was commanded to swear fealty to this king and kiss his feet. As the story goes, this viking lord, who was described as being so giant a man that no horse could carry him, bent down to King Charles feet, grabbed one of the king's feet, then stood to kiss it. This of course sent the king over backward, spilling his royal crown off his royal head. The Vikings who preferred their fun to be a bit on the boisterous side found no end to the humor of this. And I must agree. The Normans went on later about one and a half centuries later to send many knights to the holy land to fight in The First Crusade, most notably among them were Bohemond, who later crowned himself king of the holy land, and his nephew Tancred whose bout with dysentery allowed the Crusaders to finally take Jerusalem. The most notable man that the Normans sent to the Crusades was, of course, Richard the Lion Heart. This is a Norman who came to sit on the English throne and kicked a ton of ass on his way to the Holy Land during the Third Crusade. The French constantly try to claim all military victories of the Normans as their own, but you must remember that once given over to the Vikings, most French at the time regarded Normandy as a den of barbarians, so there was little intermarriage among the French and the Vikings. That's about all the connection to the French I can come up with for Robin Hood. If you look at the time that the story supposedly took place and consider the fact that Richard was an English king, it is very hard to argue that Robin Hood is anything but a Limey, though possibly a Mick.

At 1/20/2005 2:12 PM, Blogger Jake Shore said...

I think the creators of Shreck just wanted an excuse to make fun of the French. And since Robin Hood has often been portrayed as...shall we say, a little light in the leatards. I can respect that, despite the historical incaccuracies.


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