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

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

by George Bernard Shaw
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Saint Joan: A Chronicle Play in Six Scenes and an Epilogue by George Bernard Shaw

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: 9781441727800
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 03/01/2010
Edition description: Unabridged
Pages: 1
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

'On Playing Joan'vii
Joan the Original and Presumptuous7
Joan and Socrates8
Contrast with Napoleon8
Was Joan Innocent or Guilty?9
Joan's Good Looks11
Joan's Social Position12
Joan's Voices and Visions13
The Evolutionary Appetite14
The Mere Iconography does not Matter16
The Modern Education which Joan Escaped16
Failures of the voices18
Joan a Galtonic Visualizer18
Joan's Manliness and Militarism19
Was Joan Suicidal?20
Joan Summed Up21
Joan's Immaturity and Ignorance22
The Maid in Literature22
Protestant Misunderstandings of the Middle Ages25
Comparative Fairness of Joan's Trial26
Joan not tried as a Political Offender27
The Church Uncompromised by its Amends29
Cruelty, Modern and Medieval30
Catholic Anti-Clericalism31
Catholicism not yet Catholic Enough32
The Law of Change is the Law of God33
Credulity, Modern and Medieval34
Toleration, Modern and Medieval35
Variability of Toleration36
The Conflict between Genius and Discipline37
Joan as Theocrat38
Unbroken Success essential in Theocracy39
Modern Distortions of Joan's History39
History always Out of Date40
The Real Joan not Marvellous Enough for Us40
The Stage Limits of Historical Representation41
A Void in the Elizabethan Drama42
Tragedy, not Melodrama43
The Inevitable Flatteries of Tragedy43
Some Well-meant Proposals for the Improvement of the Play44
The Epilogue45
To the Critics, lest they should feel Ignored45
Saint Joan49
Principal Works of Bernard Shaw162

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Saint Joan 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
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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.