Saturday, May 06, 2006

Richard the Lionheart : Hero or Tyrant?

Above: Sean Connery as King Richard in Prince of Thieves. Connery has played the parts of both Robin Hood and the "absent King".
History depicts a far different view of King Richard than Robin Hood himself ever did. Robin Hood was Richard's loyal supporter, and would remain so until his death. In the excellent film Robin and Marian we even see Robin join his King on the Crusades, only to become sickened and disgusted with the carnage he witnesses there. But Richard was his King, and Robin could never contemplate desertion.
Here we see Robin Hood and King Richard in two entirely different interpretations. Left: The Heroic Crusader who rewards Robin for his loyalty and even judicates over his marriage to Marion. Right: The tyrant "Absent King", dying in the arms of outlaw Robin, the man he ordered executed for daring to question the King's bloodthirsty methods. In reality Richard only spent six months of his reign in England, and both the Crusades and the ransom which had to be paid when he was kidnapped, bankrupted the country.

To see where the Crusaders gathered in the Midlands, Nottingham, before leaving for the Holy Wars see THIS LINK.

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