The Storied Matter of the Greenwood in the More-Than-Human World


  • Jason Hogue University of Texas at Arlington



Robin Hood, greenwood, theory, posthumanism


This article brings posthumanist and new materialist perspectives to bear on the enmeshment of “the human” with and among the materialities of the greenwood in early Robin Hood ballads, focusing on Robin Hood and the Monk. The article suggests that medieval outlaw tales offer ecocriticism a site within medieval literature that not only challenges and deconstructs prevailing notions of human exceptionalism and anthropocentrism, but also portrays the medieval forest as a storied place, what Wendy Wheeler calls a “meaning-bearing field of agency,” imbued with interacting stories of both animate and inanimate life, such as the deer hunted by Robin and his outlaws, and also less obvious beings, such as the famous Trysting Tree.