Robin Hood is well known for his “stealing from the rich and giving to the poor” in English folklore. His actions are an example of ethical relativism. According to Velasquez’s study (1992):” Ethical relativism is the theory that holds that morality is relative to the norms of one's culture.” That is, whether an action is right or wrong depends on the moral norms of the society. It is hard to judge his action at that special period. Different groups of people have different ethical standards for evaluating his acts as right or wrong. On one hand, the poor considered him as a hero because he used his cunning and skill-at-arms to relieve the oppressed peasants. On the other hand, the rich considered him as a bandit. He robbed nobles’ gold and jewels. His actions may be morally right in the society at that period but be morally wrong in today’s society – robbery is illegal. For the ethical relativist, standards cannot be universally applied to all people at all time.
Although Robin’s actions are agreed by most of the people, it is not ethical to steal indiscriminately from every rich person. Because some of the rich may have earned their fortunes through hard earned entrepreneurship. He should think critically and address issues from both the poor’s and the rich’s sides before making a decision. Maybe some rich people should have donated money to the poor, but they did not because Robin stole their gold and jewels.