This part was made for Rickman who plays this character tongue in cheek, he is the baddy of all baddies and delivers one comical line after another like this one:
Sheriff of Nottingham: (to a serving girl) You. My room. 10:30 tonight.
Sheriff of Nottingham: (to another serving girl) You. 10:45... And bring a friend.
and this one..........
To his servant
Sheriff of Nottingham: Wait a minute. Robin Hood steals money from my pocket, forcing me to hurt the public, and they love him for it? That's it then. Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas.
He threatens to cut out Robin Hoods heart with a spoon and then delivers what I think is a quote that should be added
to the 'best film quote in history'
Guy of Gisborne: Why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe?
Sheriff of Nottingham: Because it's DULL, you twit. It'll hurt more.
Rickmans sheriff certainly is devious, vengeful, bad tempered but with a softer side....he loves his mummy.