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Saint Joan

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,203 Ratings  ·  169 Reviews
This volume contains Bernard Shaw s 1924 play, "Saint Joan." It is a chronicle play in six scenes, and an epilogue that revolves around Joan of Arc. It elucidates her immense personality, problems, and potential. As well as the play itself, Shaw also furnishes a number of chapters on Joan of Arc that offer interesting insights into her life and character. This interesting ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 12th 2006 by Hesperides Press (first published 1923)
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Jan 22, 2016 Connie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
George Bernard Shaw took theater patrons in 1923 back to the Fifteenth Century in his drama "Saint Joan". Joan of Arc declared that she heard voices from God and the saints directing her to save France in the Hundred Years War, and have the Dauphin crowned as the king of France, Charles VII. The teenage Joan, dressed in men's clothes, led the soldiers in the Siege of Orleans in 1429. She was later convicted as a heretic by the Inquisition, and burned at the stake. After papal investigations she ...more
Suzie Toumeh

Joan. 'Minding your own business is like minding your own body: it's the shortest way to make yourself sick. What is my business? Helping mother at home. What is thine? Petting lapdogs and sucking sugar-sticks. I call that muck. I tell thee it is God's business we are here to do: not our own. I have a message to thee from God; and thou must listen to it, though thy heart break with the terror of it'.

This is my favorite play of all time.
because lets face it.
I love everything Shaw writes.
and Joan
Mar 14, 2013 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

If you missed the last 600 years, let me tell you about the famous Jeanne d'Arc. Joan, as you're more likely to know her, began as a young farm girl, but when she heard the voices of her Lord and myriad saints beseeching her to take action against the horde of English soldiers encroaching upon her French homeland, she showed up on the doorstep of the uncrowned King Charles VII with a divine mission. King Charles was so impressed by her ambition and confidence that he gave her charge of a battali
Ahmad Sharabiani
Feb 26, 2012 Ahmad Sharabiani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook

یادمان بماند که: ذره ای حقیقت پشت هر «فقط یه شوخی بود» کمی کنجکاوی پشت «همینطوری پرسیدم» قدری احساسات پشت «به من چه اصلا...» و مقداری خرد پشت «چه میدونم» و اندکی درد پشت «اشکال ندارد» هماره هست
Jan 29, 2010 AB rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, own, nobel, author-m
The first scene of this play is one of the most perfect, most hilarious things I've ever read; it's probably my favourite single scene of any play, or at least my favourite comedic scene. The interplay between de Baudricourt and his squire -- "Positive! Now see here. I am going to throw you downstairs," -- never stops being funny.

I was hesitant to actually read through the whole play, lest it somehow disappoint me and tarnish my love for Scene I, but I did, and it didn't.
Mar 14, 2009 Manny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shaw usually gets tagged as a liberal, progressive, left-wing type, but he was a very idiosyncratic one: you often find things that don't fit the stereotype. In particular, he thought that nationalism was a good thing, and that wars between countries were sometimes good too. This led him to support strange positions. In Major Barbara, he ends up arguing that what we would now call the military-industrial complex is positive, because it creates the wealth needed to rescue people from poverty. I t ...more

An interesting and entertaining take on Joan of Arc – historically very controversial (especially Shaw's insistence on Cauchon's political impartiality), but that needn't worry us. Historically justifiable or not, the acid exchanges we get between this Cauchon, principled upholder of canon law, and Warwick, who simply needs whatever PR cover he can get for Joan's politically imperative disposal, are one of the best things in the play.

There are many other good things too - notably the opening com
Lina AL Ojaili
جورج برنارد شو لديه قدرة فريدة على استخدام ذكائه بوصف فترة العصور الوسطى مع نظامها الإقطاعي وكيفية التي تم بها زرع بذور البروتستانتية واستخدام الدين
Aug 08, 2014 Caro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a goddamn brilliant play. I’ve gone round in my head about this a lot since I finished it three weeks ago, because parts of it don’t fit together quite well to me, and parts of it are hilarious, and parts of it seem overlabored, but those speeches stick in your brain like an earworm and overall reading this left me with weeks of that sense of wonder we all chase after when we read.

The thing about Shaw is that he has a vision for this play, and the vision is a huge and grand one, worthy of
Archit Nanda
Jul 17, 2012 Archit Nanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
A Passage to the Preface:
George Bernard Shaw has the unique ability to use his wits to tickle to your bones. This is as much evident in the play as in the preface that accompanies it. In the preface, he talks about practically everything from St. John to Medieval History to Critics and Playgoers. Shaw's satire leaves nothing untouched, not even Shakespeare, and he makes fun of everything that he chooses to ponder upon.

Saint Joan's character is in the league of those 'manly women' characters who
Oct 27, 2011 Shriya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shriya by: Gayatri
A question for everyone: How could anyone NOT like Saint Joan ? That it is 'beautifully well-written' goes without saying! (I mean, it's Bernard Shaw , guys? How can you find faults with him? He's the modern day combination of Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde, though he probably would have taken a turn in his grave right now just because I called him that!) But what's beautiful about this play is, not only is it well-written but also, it is one of those rare tragedies which move you to tears and ...more
Erik Graff
Feb 14, 2012 Erik Graff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: WFMT, my parents & my H.S. English teacher, Mr. Sileski
Shelves: drama
I first heard St. Joan performed on Chicago's WFMT as a radio play as a little boy. This is to say that my parents listened to it and allowed me to stay up for the whole thing. The production included the voices she claimed to hear. I had had auditions myself in feverish states and the portrayal was fascinatingly reminiscent. The whole while a spider was building her web on the lamp at my right hand, a web finished and already catching moths by the time of the play's conclusion.

I next read the p
Duaa Ahmed
بصراحة احترت كيف اقيم المسرحية..
فمن الناحية الأدبية هي حقا ثرية بالمفردات اللغوية الرنانة الجميلة .. وأشيد بالمترجم (الفنان) فعلا
ومن ناحية التسلسل القصصي فهو جذاي جدا وشيق فتشغلك المسرحية ولا تريد أن (تقفز) أية صفحة

لكن عقيديا ودينيا رفضت المسرحية تماما .. ناهيك عن وجهة نظر أحد شخصيات المسرحية عن نبينا محمد عليه أفضل الصلاة والسلام .. لم أحب ما كتب
والفتاة جان تم عرضها في القصة وكأنما هي رسول بعث مؤيدة بالمعجزات!!
ثم تفاجأت انها شخصية حقيقية تم اعتبارها لاحقا في الكنائس المسيحية علی أنها قديسة ويج
Aug 05, 2007 Slightly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Arthurian lovers
Most Joan of Arc stories are rather one sided. They clothe Joan in a white hat and the Inquisitors in black hats. the plot turns into a rather bland "hero's journey". Shaw doesn't do that.
He looked at the story through a sympathetic lens. It was refreshing to catch myself agreeing with the "bad guys". When Joan came face to face with her judge and jury, I could feel the conflict within some of the jury members regarding Joan's status as Saint or Witch.

I feel like Shaw was using this story as
Jun 10, 2009 Benji rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am re-reading the lengthy introduction. It is a good antidote after my cradle of filth concert. I would promote St Joan as a lesbian icon. Anything to get some greens onto the kid's plates these days! Reconciling Christianity in an honest way whilst embracing relativistic psychology is a great challenge.

Shaw is very fair in showing that the harsh justice of the medieval Church was no harsher than today's society in seeking to protect itself from challenges to the status quo (he points out the
Nov 08, 2014 Yasmin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shaw was by far best as a playwright, although I never heard him give a speech, perhaps he was as good or better at that. I'm not used to speakers in plays having very long dialogue and very little action, hardly anyone gesticulates or uses much emphasise. However, this may give actors more leeway with the characters for their own interpretation. The preface is certainly very long for a preface and seems more like a defence, but in the way that it has been written Shaw likely felt he needed to d ...more
Mar 20, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
I'm fascinated by Joan of Arc, so reading this play was a no-brainer for me. SAINT JOAN doesn't attempt to be biographical; rather, it spends a lot of time dealing with the ways in which church leaders and politicians were scandalized by Joan and her accomplishments. Shaw's writing is brilliant (as I've come to expect from him), and the play aptly demonstrates how people would much rather venerate a dead saint than listen to a live one.
Feb 05, 2016 Dr.J.G. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An inspired young woman, a young country girl without education, saved France - from foreign invasion as much as from destruction and chaos - and the then powers had her not only imprisoned and tortured, but burnt alive in public, for fear they will lose their power, their straglehold over people.

Few intellectuals have either bothered - or really have had the courage - to set matters straight, down even on paper, much less pay the homage due to the young woman who seems to have had more courage
Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
Joan of Arc.
A play about Joan of Arc. She was courageous and full of faith. She reminded me of David the son of Jesse in the Bible. He was chosen by God to lead the Israelites against the Palestines.

Joan of Arc also believed that she was chosen by God to lead the French against the English.

David fulfilled his mission and afterwards was hated by the King and his fellow countrymen. The same situation arises in Saint Joan. The King begins to feel uncomfortable with her around and grows impatient w
Feb 22, 2014 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, irish-lit
"The most inevitable dramatic conception, then, of the nineteenth century is that of a perfectly naive hero upsetting religion, law and order in all directions, and establishing in their palce the unfettered action of Humanity . . ." (GBS writing in The Perfect Wagnerite.)
In Saint Joan Shaw attempted, and perhaps achieved, a masterpiece based on this conception. The play is a perfect example of the hero as victim transformed into savior. In the first scene the Robert de Baudricourt ridicules Joa
David Sarkies
Jul 10, 2012 David Sarkies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Students of Church History
Shelves: historical
After reading Henry VI part one I thought that I might return to Shaw's play about Joan of Arc, and in a way I am very glad that I did because when I wrote the review on this play previously I feel that I left out quite a few things, and in many ways, missed the point that he was trying to make in the play. I will try not to repeat any of the things that I have said about the play below because they are still correct, with the exception of the final paragraph because it is not a vision that Joan ...more
Charles Matthews
Shaw has often tried my patience as a reader: Not only are the plays talky, but there are also those windy prefaces. And I once had a grad school roommate who was both a devout Shavian and bipolar: When he was manic and off his meds, he would deliver harangues on the greatness of GBS. This is just to say where I'm coming from in this attempt to read Saint Joan. To be fair, I don't think Saint Joan is a great play, but it's certainly a well-made one, efficient in exposition and full of witty spee ...more
Sep 05, 2010 Lara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
St. Joan has always been one of my favorite plays. The first time I encountered it was in a high school drama class. We had to perform a monologue, and I was given the "They told me you were fools" speech. I was enthralled with the language and LOVED playing Joan. I had to perform it in front of the class, on stage, with a spotlight on me. I remember distinctly my teacher writing on my rubric, "You were born to play St. Joan!", which was one of the best moments of high school for me.

I adore Sha
Feb 06, 2015 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
JOAN. O God that madest this beautiful earth, when will it be ready to receive Thy saints? How long, O Lord, how long?
Apr 06, 2009 Sally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this play many, many years ago in a wonderful seminar taught by Gavin Langmuir, in a seminar devoted to Joan of Arc. We read a long list of works about Joan of Arc -- she is one of the most written about historical figures. I remember thinking that George Bernard Shaw best captured the history and spirit of Joan of Arc, in comparison to the other authors whose works we read. I loved this play. (I have enjoyed several other plays by George Bernard Shaw over the years, which I'll have to ad ...more
Jul 19, 2016 Larry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The volume I have was part of the legacy of my father, a big G B Shaw fan. It is not only a long play but comes with an 80-page preface, which somehow doesn’t deign to set down the basic facts of historical context, as Shaw presumably assumed that the political situation of France and England of 500 (now 600) years ago was common knowledge - a kind of flattery not merited by this reader. Instead, he has an axe or two to grind, partly in response to prior treatments of the Joan story, but also ab ...more
Dec 13, 2014 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school-books
This play would be perfect, if not for one little factor throughout that irked me. Joan's "I'm not like other girls and therefore I'm better" attitude. While in this historical context, that attitude is entirely believable and may very well be how Joan thought, I'm sick of seeing it in other girls and in literature. It would have been so refreshing to hear Joan say, "Why yes, despite my armour and being a soldier, I am also a woman and that only adds to my badassery." Ok, not quite in those word ...more
Eric Marcy
George Bernard Shaw's take on Joan of Arc is a mixed bag. There are some powerful exchanges in Act VI during Joan's trial, execution and the aftermath of her death, but it honestly would be quite hard for a writer of Shaw's caliber to *not* do a solid job with such source material. More perplexing is Shaw's tying of Joan to the Protestant Reformation, and the connection, in spite of Shaw's claim in a lengthy historical foreword of a truly enlightened perspective on Joan's place in Catholicism, r ...more
Eric Kibler
Dec 20, 2015 Eric Kibler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shaw's plays almost always feature a "Superman" or "Superwoman", someone out of step with the conventional ideas of whatever time and place the play is set in. These characters offer a new way of looking at whatever societal ills Shaw was aiming at, and could readily skewer them. You could almost call these characters prophets, since they were always viewed as heretics in their given milieu.

In this play, that character is Joan of Arc, and she is quite literally a prophet and heretic, since she o
Adam  McPhee
Apr 29, 2015 Adam McPhee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
It was okay, I guess. The playwright makes a good point in his essays on Joan about how all of the cultural depictions of her tend to either show romanticized nonsense or turn into screeds about how the Catholic church is evil. Shaw tries to show something new, which is laudable, except that his big idea is that she's a proto-protestant, which I think is a stretch. His main arguments for this seem to be that Joan was xenophobic and put herself before the church.

I think most of my disappointment
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Around the Year i...: Saint Joan, by George Bernard Shaw 1 8 Mar 31, 2016 09:35AM  
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George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, socialist, and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama. Over the course of his life he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his plays address prevailing social problems, but ...more
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“Don't think you can frighten me by telling me that I am alone. France is alone. God is alone. And the loneliness of God is His strength.” 24 likes
“The truth sticks in our throats with all the sauces it is served with: it will never go down until we take it without any sauce at all.” 12 likes
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