Tales and plays of Robin Hood have permeated Anglophone culture since his earliest appearance in literature, and in a manuscript fragment of the late fifteenth century, the legend finds incarnation in a short drama known by most scholars as Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham. The text contains no indication of scene-divisions or stage directions, and does not offer any notation to indicate the identity of any speakers. Though the mystery of the text has invited many interpretations, the previously published editions of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham have failed to resolve some crucial difficulties that arise in the play. This paper offers a new version of the play that allows for the interplay of text and improvisation, reads the piece as a single and complete play text, and attempts a reconciliation of the inconsistencies apparent across the existing published reconstructions.
Alexis Butzner is a doctoral student at Fordham University in New York specializing in medieval and early modern British literature. She has previously presented her work to the International Association of Robin Hood Scholars in Rochester, New York. Her current research interests include individual canon formation, textual transmission and reception, and the development of national identity.
Butzner, Alexis M..
''Sette on foote with gode Wyll': Towards a Reconstruction of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham'.
14.1 (2011): 61-77 (paper). Article 18.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/earlytheatre/vol14/iss1/18