Viewing Robin Hood and Anonymous as embodiments of non-conformity: A comparative analysis of media-texts used for provoking thoughts of protest, disobedience and idealism
The truth surrounding the existence and origin of Robin Hood has evaded scholars from multiple disciplines for centuries. Robin Hood has been linked to persons or characters in court rolls, plays and other documented references. Some of the oldest records of this infamous and elusive personality include the ballads. These are not however the only media texts referring to Robin Hood, as he has featured in films, TV series, music and video games also. Akin to Robin Hood are the protest movement Anonymous. A group of hacktivists, representing modern day bandits, the comparisons between Robin Hood and Anonymous are endless. This paper examines media-texts relating to Robin Hood in a critical manner and proposes that he exists not as a person but as a metaphor for free speech and anti-establishment sentiment, much in the same way that Anonymous is used today. The paper explores how Robin Hood has been used by the peasants and aristocracy alike to reflect their ideas and ideals relating to the establishment, as a fairy tale, an antidote to economic depressions and for the romanticism associated with the legend. This is compared and contrasted with the same uses of Anonymous, including the ‘Guy Fawkes mask’ that is like Robin’s hood. The paper concludes that even if it is the case that Robin Hood exists only as a metaphor, as Anonymous does to media consumers, it still needs to be established why the rhymes were of ‘Robin Hood’ and not another name or concept.
- Jonathan Bishop (2014). Viewing Robin Hood and Anonymous as embodiments of non-conformity: A comparative analysis of media-texts used for provoking thoughts of protest, disobedience and idealism. International Journal of Internet Trolling and Online Participation 1(2), pp.29-51