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Saint Joan

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  4,447 ratings  ·  140 reviews
Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 12th 2006 by Hesperides Press (first published 1923)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Christopher


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
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Suzie J. Toumeh
description

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
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AB
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.
Ahmad Sharabiani

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
Manny
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
Arcadius

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
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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
Archit Nanda
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
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Benji
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
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Yasmin
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
John
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.
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
...more
Caro
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
...more
David Sarkies
Jul 10, 2012 David Sarkies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Shriya
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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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
Slightly
Aug 05, 2007 Slightly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
Ben
JOAN. O God that madest this beautiful earth, when will it be ready to receive Thy saints? How long, O Lord, how long?
Emily
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
Adam  McPhee
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
...more
Tucker
I think I liked Shaw's lengthy 1924 preface at least as much as the play! The preface provides a biography of Joan of Arc, explains Shaw's opinions on similar works, and contributes enormously to the understanding of the short play.
John
I had to study this torrid drivel for "O-Level" [showing my age... I hated it.... I passed the exam... but this play was horrid... hated every sodding act of it... still do... may it burn forever!
Mike Jensen
This play always loses me in the last act when dead Joan and other characters turn up and have a conversation. I get why Shaw does this. It gives him the opportunity to show great sympathy for his title character while at the same time revel in the ridiculousness of her canonization, and probably the very concept of canonization. I guess it was even worth writing the act for this reason, but he certainly takes him time getting to the point.

I just love the rest of this play. True, it suffers from
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Photina
This was a good read. I have heard the story before but going through it in my literary analysis class brought some new light to the story.
Shawn Thrasher
I listened to a full-cast audio production of the play, so I'm not exactly sure if that counts as "reading" it. There aren't any Eureka moments in the play, but I enjoyed it immensely. I thought Shaw's Joan was feisty and (mostly) likable, also stubborn and foolhardy, and had a definitely self inflated ego and sense of her own righteousness and rightness. I thought it was interesting, which I'm sure is one of Shaw's points, that the same church that burned at the stake hundreds of years later ma ...more
Michael Meeuwis
Far more interesting than its preface sets it out to be--am I maybe the only person on earth still reading Shaw's prefaces? I'd be quite fine with that. An interesting approach to the history play; while not exactly breaking the fourth wall, it has characters allude explicitly to the development of anachronistic -isms--nationalism and Protestantism, for example. Joan is given full credit as as dangerous to her own side, because of her desire to interpret for herself, as to the English. An argume ...more
Sarah
There's good Shaw, then there's bad Shaw. I would put Saint Joan in with the good category, because there was a lot to enjoy about this play, although I have yet to read anything by Shaw that can amaze me as much as Pygmalion. Saint Joan is a retelling of the story of Joan of Arc and her followers, which is a pretty good basis for a play.

What I like most about this play is Joan herself. Popularly seen as a saint and as a heroine, Joan is presented here as haughty, self-righteous, and over-confi
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James
"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
...more
Matt
While listening to the discussion, it occurred to me about three-quarters of the way through our monthly book club meeting that Saint Joan really doesn't seem to be about Joan of Arc at all. As Shaw states in his (lengthy) preface
A villain in a play can never be anything more than a diabolus ex machina, possibly a more exciting expedient than a deus ex machina, but both equally mechanical, and therefore interesting only as a mechanism. It is, I repeat, what normally innocent people do that conc
...more
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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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