Steeling isn't illegal, of course. In fact, lots of people do it all the time. Footballers steel themselves before playing an important game. Kids steel themselves before handing a not-so-good report card to Mom.
LOTS of people steel themselves before reading my comments, because they know there's a good chance I'm nagging about grammar or spelling..
It's 'stealing' that's illegal. You'd be upset if you went to jail because the judge has spelled the charge 'stealing', when you were only 'steeling'... that's sort of why spelling's important....
It's subjective. Depending on your point of view... But Robin-hood is intended to be a heroic example. but if a homeless person were to steal what you had earned to give to the other homeless persons... does that make you a greedy scumbag like zsimcox (last post) suggests?
I'd say good, because from what I remember of the story I think it's his own land that he did most of his robbing on anyway. Or his family's land, or the guy's land that killed his father, or something like that. So he was justified, in my view.
Since he mostly stole from the people who were exploiting the peasants and returned money to them, it was an act of justice. That's good.
Since he was breaking the law to pursue his own brand of vigilantism, that's unacceptable. In this kind of action innocent people get hurt, and killed. That's bad.
Since "God" was on his side (that is, the author of the story, who could keep things from getting too much out of hand) his crusade was on the side angels. That's good.
But he has become a folk hero who has inspired other criminals who tried to redress imbalances (but usually kept the loot for themselves). That's bad.
But as a fictional character in a fictional setting he has provided uncounted hours of entertainment and inspiration for generations of readers and viewers, he has produced income for the coffers of the publishing industry, has been the subject of a whole raft of movies and TV shows. Robin Hood has also kept gazillions of restless kids glued to the TV screen when they might otherwise have been driving their mothers crazy. That's good.
My opinion? I like the guy, though I have no wish to emulate his exploits.