The 1991 movie by Kevin Reynolds, “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”, brings about certain themes inherent of the historical times the movie was produced. The themes enable the viewers of the movie to understand the events of the time, their impact on mankind and the need for enlightenment from ways considered backward and barbaric, which every man should aspire to do.
The first them that clear comes out in the movie is superstition. Tis is brought about between the interaction between the Sheriff and his officers on one side and Robin and his family on the other side. The sheriff believes that Robin’s father is a devil worshiper and thus he is charged and executed on the basis of such baseless accusations. The sheriff is also superstitious as he keeps a witch. The witch helps the sheriff predict events that are likely to occur in the future. Further, Sherwood is believed to be a bewitched place and even the sheriff’s soldiers cannot enter the place because of the belief that it is haunted by some spirits, allegations that no one can prove. These actions show a society embroiled in superstition.
Racism is also another theme that carries along through the movie. First, the actions of the film makers show high degrees of racism. They depict the Celts in the movie as orcs and they also have crows on their heads. Azeem, the moor is also subjected to racial abuse and racial discrimination. This gives as an account of events of these times in history whereby racial intolerance was prime.
The theme of revenge is put across the through the life of the main character; Robin. The sheriff murders Robin’s father and also seizes his lands when he is away for the crusades. When he returns and takes note of the state of events, he gathers a gang of thieves to avenge his father’s death and the theft of property. When he leads his gang to the Sheriff, a lot of them are overpowered, killed or arrested. This situation only increases Robins desire to carry out revenge even for the gangs killed and arrested.
This vengeance is carried on further and in greater intensity when Robin takes lead of a prison break so as to free members of the gang of thieves arrested in the first vengeance attempt. This he does successfully and goes to round off initial vengeance missions he had set sights on completing and these included among other things freeing Marian from a forced marriage and eventually killing the Sheriff.
Generosity is also brought about out as appositive theme in the movie. Robin is the generous character and the acts of generosity are carried through the members of his gang. Robin and his gang make the decision to be outlaws so as to protect the poor people of England from the cruelties of people such as the sheriff. They also selflessly give out possessions to the poor.
Lastly, away from all the negative themes such as revenge and superstition dominating the movie, enlightenment is a theme that brings out all the positives from the movie. Robin is the one symbol used to propel the theme. In a society dominated by intolerances such as racism and religious intolerance, Robin associates freely with Azeem, a moor and a Muslim. Robin also disregarded superstitious beliefs held by many in the movie while mingling with everyone irrespective of their race, religion and sex.
In summary, the themes represented in the movie show the negatives of the society in this time in history, some of which the world today is still fighting to overcome and gives a picture of the world where we should strive to be in through the character of Robin.