Monday, September 9, 2013

Saint Joan – Scene Summaries

Saint Joan is a play from George Bernard Shaw I picked for the last freebie theme of our Let’s Read Plays. I am also working on this for WEM Project, and as usual, this is the Scenes summaries (not Acts, as it contains only Scenes).

Scene I

Joan—a peasant girl—was told by God (through St. Catherine, St. Margaret and the Blessed Michael) to go to Robert Baudricourt, a landlord, to ask for soldiers to drive the English away from Orleans (France). Skeptical at first, Robert could not reject Joan’s proposal and finally granted it. Then a miracle happened, which ensured Robert that Joan was sent by God.

Scene II

Joan came to the Dauphin (the young King to be crowned) Charles the Seventh, but the Archbishop rejected to see her. Charles was weak, but he’s impressed by Joan as she had done miracle by guessing the real Charles while he was in disguise. Joan convinced and encouraged the weak Charles to let her led the army and crown him King.

Scene III

At Orleans Dunois is the chief commander, and for days he couldn’t across the river to get to French army because the wind always blew to West. Joan arrived, and miracle happened, the wind suddenly blew to the East. Dunois believed that she—The Maid—was sent by God, and though he reluctantly at first to give the army command to Joan, he did it after the miracle.

Scene IV

In English camp, English Earl of Warwick and Rev. de Stogumber met Bishop Mgr. Cauchon; the first two insisted that Joan was a witch and must be burnt. The Bishop cared more about the girl’s soul salvation than politics, but saw her as a heretic from Devil. Earl of Warwick worried that the aristocracy would lose their power from the King if he be coronated.

Scene V

In the Cathedral of Rheims when King Charles has just been coronated, Joan wanted to fight Paris before she returned home; but the others rejected the idea. They even threat her that she could be burnt for heresy. She was now left alone by others whom she had helped, but she put her trust in God.

Scene VI

Joan was captured and being tried for heresy. With some tough disputes between the politicians and the Church (English partisan) during the trial, Joan was nearly freed from charges. But after knowing that she would be imprisoned till death, she chose to be burnt at stake. A cross was brought before her when she was dying.


Twenty five years after Joan’s death, King Charles was visited by Joan in his dream, along with most of the main characters. That day, Joan canonization has been decreed after a trial being conducted and the heresy trial has been proven corrupted. The others confessed that they finally realized that Joan comes from God, not from evil, but when Joan was suggesting whether she’d better come to live again, the others soon left her; and Joan could only sigh to God, how it is difficult for men to receive their saints.


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