R.1, R.2, R.3, R.4, R.7, W.3, SL.1, SL.2, L.4, L.6

The Legend of Robin Hood

Adventure Awaits You

Art by Gary Hanna


*Starred characters have larger speaking parts.

  • *Narrators 1, 2, & 3 (N1, N2, N3) 
  • Merry Men, to be read by a group 
  • *Robin Hood, an outlaw  
  • Little John, one of the Merry Men 
  • Will Scarlet, one of the Merry Men  
  • Villagers 1 and 2 
  • Friar Tuck, one of the Merry Men  
  • *Sir Guy, a knight  
  • *Lady Marian, a noblewoman  
  • *Sheriff of Nottingham
  • Herald, an announcer
  • Crowd, to be read by the class

About this Play 
Robin Hood is a hero from English folklore (stories passed down through time). Tales about him date back to at least the 1300s.


N1: Robin Hood and his Merry Men stand in Sherwood forest.

N2: Together, they loudly chant. 

Merry Men: Prince John is as greedy as the forest is green. A meaner ruler has never been seen.

Robin Hood: The prince is raising the taxes he collects again!

Little John: Even the poorest people must pay him more money!

Will Scarlet: The prince gets richer, and his people get poorer!

N3: They see a young man digging in the dirt with his hands. 

Robin: What are you looking for, lad? 

Villager 1: Wild onions.

Robin: You are hungry?   

Villager 1: My father could not pay the prince his taxes. So the sheriff took everything we owned. 

N1: Robin gives him bread and meat from his bag. 

Robin: I will not let your family starve.

Villager 1: Thank you, Robin Hood! Thank you! 

N2: The young man runs off. 

Robin: That greedy sheriff!

N3: Friar Tuck comes rushing in.

Friar Tuck: One of the sheriff’s knights is collecting taxes today. His name is Sir Guy. He will pass through here soon.

Will: His pouch will be heavy with coins.

Robin: Time for an adventure, boys! 

Merry Men (chanting): The sheriff is cruel; we’ll take this no more. We’ll steal from the rich and give to the poor!


N1: Sir Guy and Lady Marian ride through Sherwood Forest with their guards.

N2: Sir Guy holds out a necklace. 

Sir Guy: My lady, I would like you to have this.

Lady Marian: Didn’t it belong to a villager?

Guy: She couldn’t pay her taxes, so I took it.

Marian: She was not born rich as we were. Should she be punished for being poor? 

Guy: Do not pity people like her. If they worked harder, they would have plenty. 

N3: Lady Marian frowns. Sir Guy looks at the dark path ahead.

Guy: These woods are full of robbers. 

Marian: Is that Robin Hood as dangerous as they say? 

N1: Robin drops from a tree. 

Robin: You called?

N2: Sir Guy and his guards draw their swords. 

N3: Robin whistles. Dozens of Merry Men appear, ready to fire their arrows. 

Marian: Sir Guy, we are outnumbered. 

Robin: The lady is both beautiful and wise. 

N1: Marian tries not to smile. 

Guy: Let us go!

Robin: You must be hungry after a long day of robbing the poor. Join us for a feast. 

N2: Sir Guy and Lady Marian don’t have time to answer.

N3: Robin’s men quickly blindfold them and lead them away to their secret camp. 

Art by Gary Hanna; PhotoShed/

Dangerous Forests
This story takes place during medieval times in England. This period lasted from around 1100 to 1500. At the time, the woods were believed to be very dangerous. Wild animals could make a meal of you. Outlaws could kidnap you. Most people never left their villages.


N1: At the feast, Sir Guy and Lady Marian sit unhappily. 

N2: Little John raises his cup to make a toast.

Little John: To the sheriff! His heart is empty, but his pockets are full.

Merry Men: Ha! Ha! Ha!

N3: After the feast, Will steps forward.

Will: Before you go, Sir Guy, we ask a small fee for the meal.

Guy: I must pay for a meal I’m forced to eat? I have only three gold coins.

Friar Tuck: Truly?

N1: Friar Tuck finds a pouch in Sir Guy’s saddlebag. Hundreds of coins pour out.

Robin: It’s too bad. If you had been honest, we would have taken nothing. But you lie, so we take all.

Guy: Thief!

N2: Robin bows deeply.

Robin (smiling): Until we meet again, good lady. 

N3: Lady Marian looks back at Robin as she rides off. 

N1: When they get back, the sheriff is very angry at Sir Guy. 

Sheriff of nottingham: You fool! 

Guy: I was helpless.

Sheriff: That money was for the prince. When I catch Robin Hood, his head will roll. 

Guy: You cannot beat him in the forest. You must lure him out into the open.

Sheriff: How?

Guy: He thinks he is the finest archer in the land. Plan a shooting match. Offer a prize. Robin Hood loves showing off.


N2: Hungry villagers crowd around Robin. 

N3: He hands out bread, meat, and cheese. 

Villager 2: Bless you, Robin Hood! This will keep my family alive for a month. 

N1: A messenger arrives and blows his trumpet. 

Herald: In three days, an archery contest will be held in Nottingham. The winner will receive a silver arrow.

Robin: A shooting match! 

Little John: Robin, this is surely a trap!

Robin: All the more reason to attend.


N2: Archers from far and wide gather in Nottingham for the contest. 

N3: A hunched-over beggar arrives. A dirty, torn cape hides his face. 

N1: The sheriff, Sir Guy, and Lady Marian sit on a platform. 

Herald (shouting): Each archer will shoot one arrow. 

N2: Arrows fly. 

Sheriff: My lead archer, Gilbert, has hit the center! That will be tough to beat!

Crowd: Hoorah!

Herald: Final archer, you’re up!

N3: The beggar shoots. He splits Gilbert’s arrow in half and hits the bull’s-eye.

Crowd (louder): Hoorah!!!

N1: Lady Marian hands him the silver arrow. 

Marian: For our winner.

Robin: Please keep it, my lady. You might need it the next time you’re passing through Sherwood Forest. 

N2: Lady Marian’s eyes grow wide. The sheriff walks up.

Sheriff: Hello, sir. You are better than the coward Robin Hood. He dared not show his face today.

N3: The beggar throws back his hood.

Robin: Coward, you say?

Guy: Get him!

Will: Run, Robin! 

Robin: And miss all the fun? 

N1: Robin fights bravely, but he is overpowered. 

Sheriff: Tomorrow, Robin Hood will hang! 

N2: Lady Marian holds the silver arrow as Robin is taken to the dungeon. 

Art by Gary Hanna;

Favorite Sport
Archery contests were popular in medieval England. But they weren’t just for entertainment. They were also important practice. England’s archers helped win battles. A skilled archer could release as many as 12 arrows per minute.


N3: Lady Marian sneaks into the dungeon. 

Marian: Robin, is it true you are really a rich knight who could be living in luxury? 

Robin: Yes, my lady.

Marian: Why do you choose to be a criminal?

Robin: I hate unfair laws. The sheriff is cruel.

Marian: But without laws, there is no justice.

Robin: Justice? Tell that to the father who was jailed for stealing to feed his family! 

Marian: You support stealing?

Robin: People would not have to steal if the sheriff did not steal from them. 

Marian: And you are willing to die for these poor people? 

Robin: I must stand up for what is right!  


N1: A large crowd has gathered.

N2: Robin is dragged out of the dungeon onto a platform. 

Sheriff (smiling): Goodbye, Robin Hood. 

N3: Suddenly, Lady Marian appears on horseback. She raises her bow and draws a silver arrow to her cheek.

N1: Snap! The arrow whizzes through the air. It slices the hangman’s rope. Robin drops. 

Merry Men: Hooray!

Sheriff: Catch him! 

N2: Lady Marian rides up to Robin Hood. 

Marian: Jump, Robin!

N3: Robin leaps onto her horse.

Guy: You shall regret this, Marian!

Marian: I only regret I did not join them sooner!

N1: They ride away with the Merry Men close behind.

Marian: To the forest?

Merry Men: To Sherwood Forest! 




Nottingham's Hero
The story of Robin Hood may be fiction. But the setting is real. You can visit Nottingham and Sherwood Forest in England today. A statue there honors the story’s hero.

You've just read “The Legend of Robin Hood.” Now it’s time to try this activity. 

What to do: Imagine that you are Lady Marian at the end of the play. Make inferences to complete each sentence below. For clues, go back and look at the play.

Tip: An inference is something that is not stated but can be figured out from clues in the text.

When Sir Guy told me that if poor people “worked harder, they would have plenty,” I felt  

Hint: Look in Scene 2 for clues.

The first time I met Robin Hood, I thought he seemed 

Hint: Look in Scene 2 and Scene 3 for clues.

I visited Robin in the dungeon because   

Hint: Look in Scene 6 for clues.

The next day, I saved him and helped him escape because 

Hint: Look in Scene 7 for clues.

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