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The Lark

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  409 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Chapman, writing in the New York News called The Lark: "a beautiful, beautiful play It is always the story of a simple girl who became an inspired warrior and then was tried by the church but there have been several ways of telling it. Anouilh's way, and Miss Hellman's, is to try to tell the story from two viewpoints. One of them is how we look at the tale now as a piece o ...more
Paperback, 72 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Dramatists Play Service (first published 1952)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jeanne D'Arc, the titular "aloutette"/lark, joins Antigone and Therese as another of Anouilh's strong, stubborn women. Like the others, Jeanne is young, really more of a girl than a woman, but she knows what she believes in and what is worth fighting for. Her interactions with the men in her past and present are interesting because she always has an answer ready. Jeanne defends herself but, more importantly, she defends her faith and what she knows is right.

I know there are layers in this play,
« Alouette, gentille alouette, alouette je te plumerai » !
Mar 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Lil Hellman rews Anouilh : Anouilh dares to suggest that Joan dies chiefly to avoid middle age. LOL. Hellman's version slashes Anouilh so that his meaning(s) are entirely lost.

Here's the Lillian Hellman "version" as performed on Bwy. Christopher Fry did the adaptation that was produced in London. I have no feelings about Joan. She's having tea Up There with Mother Teresa. Two lumps of sugar, please. Where's Hellman at the moment ? Dunt ask.
Ray LaManna
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A French author's take on the story of Joanne of Arc...he's critical of the hypocrisy of both Church and state. The monologues are very good., if a bit wordy. ...more
Akemi G
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dramas, read-fiction
It must be tempting for French authors to write about Joan of Arc, adding a bit of his insight.
As he did in Antigone, Anouilh takes a famous story, and with meta-fiction approach, almost turns it around, only to arrive at the well-known ending.

Not bad at all--I just think it lacked sufficient surprises. But then, this was written in 1950s, and it probably was shocking enough back then.

Read in Five Plays: Vol 2.
Nov 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
Anouilh's beautiful tribute to Jeanne d'Arc, by all accounts one of the most inspiring and lovable people in history. We arrested her on trumped-up charges and burned her alive when she was only nineteen. Funny how often that kind of thing happens.

We? Oh, I don't know. The British. The ruling elite. Men. People.
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
A very confusing and tedious read of the rise and trial of Joan of Arc, confusing in the sense of its dramatic style; it's not quite straight narrative and it's not quite the Pirandello-esque it wants to be, leaving the plot and language to become a big muddle. ...more
May 21, 2009 rated it liked it
If you're going to retell the admittedly somewhat exhausted story of Joan of Arc, you've really got to be inventive to keep it new and interesting. Making it a play with somewhat interesting stage directions and character names doesn't really cut it in my book.
It was definitely good for my French, though.
Victor Morosoff
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Une pièce assez dense au parfum de l'époque, dont la morale semble être l'impossibilité de toute ascension de l'homme honnête dans un monde corrompu et vil, si ce n'est pour l'échafaud. En échange, ce qui reste, c'est la dignité humaine. 3,8/5 ...more
Imen Inoubli  Gharbi /reading bookswith imen
"l inquisiteur répète, tordu de haine : " pour ce qui est de ce que j'ai fait, je ne m'en dédirai jamais !... "les entendez-vous les mots, qu'ils ont tous dit sur les bûchers, les échafauds, au fond des chambres de torture, chaque fois que nous avons pu nous saisir d'eux ? Les mots qu'ils rediront encore dans des siècles, avec la même impudence, car la chasse à l'homme ne sera jamais fermée.. Si puissants que nous devenions un jour, sous une forme ou sous une autre, si lourde que se fasse l'idée ...more
Zahra'a Bin Shaibah
حملت المسرحية صورة رمزية لقوى سياسية و أداة دينية، تسعى لشن براثنها على إرادة الحرية، الإرادة التي منحها الله للإنسان والتي تظهر مدى العزة التي يكنها له، متشكلة بصورة عذراء فرنسا.
قد استجاب برومثيوس لصوت الحق فسرق النار من الآلة و اهداها للبشر، لتولد الحضارة، و استجابت جان هي الأخرى لأصوات الإرادة و الحرية و العزة التي زارتها بهيئة ملاك و قديستين، أقنعت الملك المعلول باسترداد فرنسا وقادت الجيش الفرنسي بكل بسالة.
و لكن حذاري من ائتمان المعتل بالجُبن، فهو لن يملك الشجاعة الكافية ليدافع عنك، بل على
Leylamaría Nikfarjam
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
CAUCHON. So then, Joan, you excuse Man all his faults and think him one of G-d’s greatest miracles?
JOAN. Yes, my Lord.
PROMOTER. It’s blasphemy. Man is filth, lust, a nightmare of obscenity.
JOAN. Yes, my Lord. He sins; he is evil enough. And then something happens: it may be he is coming out of a brothel, roaring out his bawdy songs in praise of a good time, and suddenly he has thrown himself at the reins of a runaway horse to save some child he has never seen before; his bones broken; he dies a
Atena | آتنا
اما در همین تنهایی، در همین سکوت خدای گم شده، در همین درماندگی و فلاکت حیوانی است که انسان، وقتی سرش را بالا می گیرد و پیش می رود، بزرگ است. بزرگ و تنها.

عشق شغل مناسبی برای خانم ها نیست. ما این کار را خیلی بد انجام می دیم. جز این، شما بعدها از من تشکر هم خواهید کرد، آدم تنهایی خیلی بهتر می خوابه.

یک عمر خدمت در دولت و در کلیسا به من یاد داده که هیچ وقت نباید توجه خدا را جلب کرد. ما باید تا آنجا که می توانیم خاکسار باشیم، خاکسار و کوچک.

درست در لحظه ای که تو تمام ترست رو دور می ریزی و می ایستی که ب
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-new-library
Rather like all good Joan of Arc stories (this rather influenced Bessons the Messenger)
Joan is presented as something of the danger and grandeur of naivety. The villains are manipulated by her. she is not easily categorized.
Play is flowing and nuanced. I like Anouilh flow and setting and style he drifts int memory realities very well and makes the abstract rather concrete with action that should not be able to take place.
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I didn't like the ending as much as I wanted to, but GOD what a good play. I got pretty deep into a googling spiral and now I know ten times as much about french history as I did. Every character is surprising and complex, and the movement through time is deft and not jumpy.

Really, really interesting read.
An interresting telling of Jeanne D'arc's trial. Since I'm fascinated by her, and hear stubborn bravery, it was a great read.
A solid 3.5.
I got a bit confused with who was who at the beginning, but that sorted itself out at the end.
grace ☼
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read
i had to read this for my french literature class. it was a very easy and (relatively) quick read, and did well at telling the story of Joan of Arc in a good way. overall, i enjoyed it more than i thought i would. 3.5/5.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, have-at-home
Steven Godin
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: france, plays-theatre
Better than I expected, but it's no Antigone. ...more
The trial of Jeanne D’Arc, aka Joan of Arc, aka the Maid of Orleans, has been imagined by a few playwrights, directors and writers. Most people know little of the details: the names of the other players in the courtroom, the statutes read against her, the questioning to which she was put, etc., have all been lost to historical documents that appeal little to those who prefer drama and tragedy.

This play is a brilliant re-imagining of those moments as various men weigh in on Joan’s innocence, the
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is a review of the Lillian Hellman adaption. You can see my review of the Christopher Fry translation (which I assume hews more closely to the original Anouilh) here: .

As you’ll see in my earlier review, I think The Lark is very good, but a bit long winded. I like the way the story unfolds, mixing commentary from Joan’s trial with the re-enactment of the key events. It is a very engaging presentation. However, the long philosophical speeches are a bi
Ludmila Marton
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: theater
It's supposed to be a tribute to Joan of Arc whom I love and admire greatly. I was curious about this play but it strikes me as one of those works of our modern society when we take something from the past we don't understand or don't seek to understand and squeeze it into frame and proportions to which we are used to and are comfortable with. I'm sure the author didn't want to rewrite anything or claim a faithfull account; it was merely his artistic viewpoint to provide a statement to various d ...more
Manuel Sanchez
Mar 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: play
The complete text of one of Broadways most distinguished hits, adapted into English by Lillian Hellman. Copyrighted 1956 but presented at the Longacre Theater in New York City on Nov 17, 1955 with iconic actors Christopher Plummer, Boris Karloff and Julie Harris (as Joan or Arc). The play covers the trial and execution of Joan, but has a twist. Joan recalls significant highlights in her life as she is being questioned, and is later condemned to death. However, just as Joan is burning at the stak ...more
Apr 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
How does one explain Jeanne d'Arc? Touched by God? Was she the village idiot who heard voices in her own brand of crazy? Or was she merely a lark singing in the sky as suggested by this play, l'Alouette.

Here is how the author describes her in the introduction to his play... "You cannot explain Joan, any more than you can explain the tiniest flower growing by the wayside. There's just a little living flower that has always known, ever since it was a microscopic seed, how many petals it would hav
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
As with most plays, this is something that needs to be seen rather than read. There are moments in which the show is quite eloquent even from the page--usually when the words are taken from transcripts of Joan's trial--but in general the text is rather halting and does not flow in the same way that Shakespeare and some other playwrights' works do when merely read. That said, it is a beautiful and thought-provoking play when done well, and the intentional ambiguity with regard to time and interpr ...more
Oct 15, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ja Herr, [der Mensch:] ist sündhaft und widerlich. Doch plötzlich, keiner weiß warum, stürzt es aus seinem schmutzigen Freudenhaus und verstellt einem scheu gewordenen Pferd den Weg, um ein unbekanntest kleines Kind zu retten. Dann liegt er da, mit gebrochenen Gliedern, und stirbt, ergeben in sein Schicksal, der gleiche Mensch, der mit so viel Aufwand seine Sündennacht vorbereitet hatte. [...:]
Er stirbt rein und verklärt, und lächelnd empfängt ihn unser Gott. Denn er hat zweimal wie ein Mensch g
Ronald Wise
An abstract portrayal of the heresy trial and execution of Jeanne d'Arc with many flashbacks to the events leading up to her rise to fame in France. This book provided no background about the characters, and having no previous knowledge of the details of her demise, I'm sure I missed the significance of many statements. The arguments, however, were interesting and though I was too lazy to research the people involved, I feel the read was worth my effort. I learned of this play through a birthday ...more
Oct 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Jeanne d'Arc hat einen an der Waffel, aber die meiste Zeit hat sie keine Angst. Die bösen Inquisiteure, Richter und Adligen, sind Witzgestalten. Nicht so tragisch, schwarz und romantisch wie Antigone, aber Anouilh hats drauf... ...more
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
Ok, I'll admit I read this 20 years ago so it's a bit distant and I'm not a young'un any more but I remember loving it! Really well told and great dialogue. Haven't read Shaw's Saint Joan so can't compare it but this would definitely be in my desert island suitcase. ...more
Nov 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Read this a few days before the election and loved it - Anouilh's recreation of Joan of Arc is a pre-modern Obama. ...more
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Anouilh was born in Cérisole, a small village on the outskirts of Bordeaux and had Basque ancestry. His father was a tailor and Anouilh maintained that he inherited from him a pride in conscientious craftmanship. He may owe his artistic bent to his mother, a violinist who supplemented the family's meager income by playing summer seasons in the casino orchestra in the nearby seaside resort of Arcac ...more

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