Saint Joan

Saint Joan

2.8 10
by Bernard Shaw
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

With Saint Joan, Shaw reached the height of his fame as a dramatist. In this magnificent play he distilled many of the ideas he had been trying to express in earlier works on the subjects of politics, religion and creative evolution. Fascinated by the story of Joan of Arc, but unhappy with the way she had traditionally been depicted, Shaw wanted to remove 'the…  See more details below

Overview

With Saint Joan, Shaw reached the height of his fame as a dramatist. In this magnificent play he distilled many of the ideas he had been trying to express in earlier works on the subjects of politics, religion and creative evolution. Fascinated by the story of Joan of Arc, but unhappy with the way she had traditionally been depicted, Shaw wanted to remove 'the whitewash which disfigures her beyond recognition'. He presents a realistic Joan: proud, intolerant, naive, foolhardy, always brave - a rebel who challenged the conventions and values of her day. As Imogen Stubbs writes, 'All Joans are relevant but some Joans are more relevant than others - I think Shaw's Saint Joan is the right one to be received by the twenty-first century'.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812419214
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
05/28/2001
Series:
Penguin Classics
Pages:
163
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

George Bernard Shaw was a world-famous playwright. Born in Dublin, he moved to London at age twenty and lived in England for the remainder of his life. Shaw's first success was as a music and literary critic, but he was drawn to drama and authored more than sixty plays during his career.

Jean Chothia is Reader in Drama and Theatre in the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Selwyn College.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Saint Joan 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book even though I had to read it in a matter of 1 week. I still kept my head up and read it. I have to do a report on it so -=ALL READERS=- Get this book its exciting and a good book >=)
Guest More than 1 year ago
In one surviving account, Joan of Arc was quoted as saying that her judges were merely putting her on trial because they were members of the pro-English faction and therefore her 'capital enemies'; unfortunately, this play tries to claim otherwise. Despite the fact that Cauchon and his cronies are well known to historians to have been long-term supporters of the English and Burgundian factions, and the eyewitnesses said repeatedly that they prosecuted Joan out of revenge for the defeats that their side had suffered at the hands of her army, rather than out of any genuine belief that she was guilty of heresy, Shaw distorts history on this and other issues. Here are some specific examples: - Shaw, like Cauchon, claimed that Joan was guilty of heresy for wearing male clothing allegedly as a personal preference, despite the fact that she was quoted as saying that she wore soldiers' clothing (of a type which had 'laces and points' by which the pants and tunic could be securely tied together) primarily to protect herself, as her guards had tried to rape her on several occasions, and to similarly safeguard her chastity while surrounded by the men in her army. The medieval Church allowed an exemption in such cases of necessity. Shaw rejects all of the above based on the specious argument that the 'other women' who accompanied armies in that era didn't wear such clothing, ignoring the fact that these 'other women' were: 1) prostitutes, who wore provocative dresses because they were trying to encourage sexual encounters rather than the opposite; and 2) aristocratic women sometimes were given command of their family's armies in the absence of their husband or son, but these women did not bed down at night among the troops in the field, as Joan often did. - On a somewhat related subject, Shaw tries to portray her as a rebel against 'gender norms', again ignoring her own statements such as, quote, 'I would rather stay home with my poor mother and spin wool [rather than lead an army]' and other quotes which hardly sound like someone who is trying to reject traditional gender roles. She was given titular command of an army for the same reason other religious visionaries sometimes were given such a role in that era, not as part of a 'feminist crusade'. - Shaw admits that Joan was a devout Catholic and yet claims her as 'the first Protestant martyr' - in the same sentence. If you read the documents you will find that Joan never opposed the Church as a whole: she merely stated her objection to being tried by a panel of pro-English clergy, and repeatedly asked to be given a non-partisan group instead or to be brought before the Pope. The bottom line is: this play does little more than repeat the slander leveled at Joan by the men who cruelly put her to death, despite the attempts by many scholars to promote a more accurate view of the issue.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was required to read this play for an summer AP English assignment and quite enjoyed it. Although we are not sure of all the historical facts I think that Shaw gave an interesting interpitation of the story of this historical hero. I am fond of stories set in the middle ages and although itmight not be historically accurate it was very enjoyable. It is a wonderful story that all of us should be familliar with.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While Shaw may have been a gifted playwright, his 'Saint Joan' did an enormous disservice to the subject: the view it presents of Joan of Arc conflicts with the historical evidence on nearly every point, echoing instead the propaganda of her enemies. In truth, her trial was orchestrated by the English with the help of a few pro-English clergy, not by the Inquisition (and even Shaw admits that the Inquisition overturned the verdict in 1456, shortly after the English were finally driven out of Rouen); nor was Joan a 'rebel' except in the minds of her political opponents: that was proven by the testimony of the witnesses at the retrial. By dredging up a fraudulent view of La Pucelle, Shaw's play was among the first popular works to undermine the efforts of countless scholars whose research had brought a more truthful view of the issue to light. If you want to see the historical Joan, I would suggest one of Regine Pernoud's books.