Saint Joan: A Chronicle Play in Six Scenes and an Epilogue

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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 ...
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Saint Joan

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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'.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441727763
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 4

Meet the Author

BERNARD SHAW, a.k.a GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, (1856-1950), Irish-born playwright, critic, and political activist, began his writing career in London. In addition to writing sixty-three plays, his prodigious output as critic, pamphleteer, and essayist influenced numerous social issues. In 1925, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature and in 1938 an Oscar for the movie version of Pygmalion.

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Table of Contents

'On Playing Joan' vii
Introduction xi
Preface
Joan the Original and Presumptuous 7
Joan and Socrates 8
Contrast with Napoleon 8
Was Joan Innocent or Guilty? 9
Joan's Good Looks 11
Joan's Social Position 12
Joan's Voices and Visions 13
The Evolutionary Appetite 14
The Mere Iconography does not Matter 16
The Modern Education which Joan Escaped 16
Failures of the voices 18
Joan a Galtonic Visualizer 18
Joan's Manliness and Militarism 19
Was Joan Suicidal? 20
Joan Summed Up 21
Joan's Immaturity and Ignorance 22
The Maid in Literature 22
Protestant Misunderstandings of the Middle Ages 25
Comparative Fairness of Joan's Trial 26
Joan not tried as a Political Offender 27
The Church Uncompromised by its Amends 29
Cruelty, Modern and Medieval 30
Catholic Anti-Clericalism 31
Catholicism not yet Catholic Enough 32
The Law of Change is the Law of God 33
Credulity, Modern and Medieval 34
Toleration, Modern and Medieval 35
Variability of Toleration 36
The Conflict between Genius and Discipline 37
Joan as Theocrat 38
Unbroken Success essential in Theocracy 39
Modern Distortions of Joan's History 39
History always Out of Date 40
The Real Joan not Marvellous Enough for Us 40
The Stage Limits of Historical Representation 41
A Void in the Elizabethan Drama 42
Tragedy, not Melodrama 43
The Inevitable Flatteries of Tragedy 43
Some Well-meant Proposals for the Improvement of the Play 44
The Epilogue 45
To the Critics, lest they should feel Ignored 45
Saint Joan 49
Principal Works of Bernard Shaw 162
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Customer Reviews

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( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2003

    A good book to read over school vacation!! >=)

    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 >=)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2002

    A Great Disservice

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2001

    Good play

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2000

    A fictionalized account.

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

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    Posted January 31, 2014

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    Posted June 2, 2010

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    Posted May 8, 2012

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    Posted September 29, 2013

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    Posted September 27, 2010

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