Saint Joan Themes

Saint Joan Themes


Something that we find to be common in almost every character in this book is an excessive sense of pride. Even the main character, the pious and pure Joan, is accused of being too proud and this proves to be almost a capital sin for her as it eventually proves to lead to her downfall. The reason why pride is presented as a major sin is because the play is supposed to take place in the medieval times when the major power in a country was represented by the church. If we look at other pieces of literature written in that time or whose plot is set in those centuries, we discover that almost all character who manifest a sense of excessive pride are in the end punished.


The whole play presents the struggle for power and the fight between the French and the Englishmen. But aside from the most obvious conflict, and that is the military one, we find that inside the country too there is a struggle for power. We are presented with the King, naïve and manipulated by those who have more money than him and then we see Joan, a peasant girl, a woman in a society that gave women no rights who somehow became the most feared and powerful character because she had not political power behind her but rather divine power.


Joan is a very strange character for her age. She is a woman yet she acts like she is a soldier and refuses to do the things that are expected from her such as to get married and listen to what men say to her. Instead, she rebels against the conventions of her time and chooses to pick her own path and do what she thinks that is right. From this point of view, Joan is powerful because she has the courage to stand for herself and be different in a male dominated society.

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