American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Robin Hood" (2010)


Robin Longstride Proposes a Charter of Rights to Unite the Country


Northern Baron: We will not be loyal to a crown that robs and starves us!

KING JOHN: A king does not bargain for the loyalty that every subject owes him. Without loyalty there is no kingdom! There is nothing!

Robin Longstride: I'm here to speak for Sir Walter Loxley.

KING JOHN: Speak, if you must.

Robin Longstride: If you're trying to build for the future you must set your foundation strong. The laws of this land enslave people to its king, a king who demands loyalty but offers nothing in return. I have marched from France to Palestine and back. And I know in tyranny lies only failure. You build a country like you build a cathedral: from the ground up. Empower every man and you will gain strength.

KING JOHN: Hmm. Well, who could object to such reasonable words?

Robin Longstride: If Your Majesty were to offer justice -- justice in the form of a charter of liberties, allowing every man to forage for his hearth, to be safe from conviction without cause or prison without charge, to work, eat, and live on the sweat of his own brow -- and be as merry as he can -- then that king would be great. Not only would he receive the loyalty of his people but their love as well.

KING JOHN:  So what would you have? Hmm? Castle for every man?

Robin Longstride: Every Englishman's home is his castle. What we would ask, Your Majesty,
is liberty. Liberty by law!

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American Rhetoric.
HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.