Advertisement

The Skeptic Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks: Shaw’s Saint Joan—Concluding Thoughts on Joan in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

  • John PendergastEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Bernard Shaw and His Contemporaries book series (BSC)

Abstract

This chapter considers Shaw’s Joan of Arc play and considers how all the works discussed in the book compare to Schiller’s original conception. Following Joan’s canonization in 1920, Shaw’s Saint Joan recasts her in a new dramatic mold. Shaw dismisses Schiller and Shakespeare: the former for “beglamored sentimentality”; the latter for inconsistent scurrility. He is either not aware or chooses not to see that much of what he rejects in Schiller’s Idealist Romanticism is based on philosophical principles that are strikingly similar to the tenets of his own philosophy of Creative Evolution and Vitalism. Pendergast asserts that the depictions of Joan in Shakespeare, Schiller, and Shaw reveal almost mystically inevitable parallels with Euripides’s Iphigeneia. Despite his protestations to have been distancing himself as far as possible from Shakespeare and Schiller, an analysis comparing the works and their underlying ideas suggests that Shaw produces a version of Joan that is consistent with the features of Schiller’s Euripidean sublime sanctity.

References

  1. Berst, Charles. “Saint Joan: Spiritual Epic as Tragicomedy.” George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Saint Joan’. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1987.Google Scholar
  2. Blankenagel, John C. “Shaw’s Saint Joan and Schiller’s Jungfrau von Orleans.” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 25.3 (1926): 379–92.Google Scholar
  3. Bloom, Harold. Shaw’s Saint Joan: Modern Critical Interpretations. New York: Chelsea, 1987.Google Scholar
  4. Champion, Pierre. The Trial of Joan of Arc. Trans. Daniel Hobbins. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005. Originally published in French in 1920.Google Scholar
  5. Collinson, Patrick. Politics, Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain: This England: Essays on the English Nation and Commonwealth in the Sixteenth Century. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011.Google Scholar
  6. Dyde, S.W. “Shakespeare in the Eyes of Bernard Shaw.” Queen’s Quarterly 32 (1925): 276–84.Google Scholar
  7. France, Anatole. The Life of Joan of Arc, Vol. I. Trans. Winifred Stephens. New York: John Lane Company, 1909.Google Scholar
  8. Gahan, Peter. “Fouquet’s Boccaccio.” Shaw 22 (2002): 83–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Henderson, Archibald. Bernard Shaw: Playboy and Prophet. New York: D. Appleton, 1932.Google Scholar
  10. ———. George Bernard Shaw: Man of the Century. New York: Da Capo Publishers, 1972.Google Scholar
  11. Holinshed, Raphael. Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland in Six Volumes, Vol. III. London: Brooke Printer, 1808. Originally published in 1587.Google Scholar
  12. Huizinga, John. “The Play and Its Performance.” Major Literary Characters: Joan of Arc. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1992.Google Scholar
  13. Murray, T. Douglas, ed. Jeanne d’Arc: Maid of Orleans, Deliverer of France. New York: McClure Company, 1907.Google Scholar
  14. Sackville-West, V. Saint Joan of Arc. New York: Doubleday, 1936.Google Scholar
  15. Searle, William. The Saint and the Skeptics: Joan of Arc in the Work of Mark Twain, Anatole France, and Bernard Shaw. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1976.Google Scholar
  16. Shaw, George Bernard. “Parents and Children.” Misalliance. New York: Brentano’s, 1914.Google Scholar
  17. ———. Saint Joan: A Chronicle Play in Six Scenes and an Epilogue. London: Constable and Company, 1924.Google Scholar
  18. ———. Saint Joan. Dir. Eric Tucker. Perf. Andrus Nichols, Edmund Lewis, Tom O’Keefe, Eric Tucker. Bedlam at Lynn Redgrave Theater, New York. 23 November 2013.Google Scholar
  19. ———. The Perfect Wagnerite: A Commentary on the Nibelung’s Ring. New York: Brentano’s, 1909.Google Scholar
  20. Turner, Tramble T. “George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950).” British Playwrights, 1880–1956: A Research and Production Sourcebook. Ed. William W. Demastes and Katherine E. Kelly. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996.Google Scholar
  21. Tyson, Brian. The Story of Shaw’s Saint Joan. Montreal, QC: McGill–Queen’s University Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  22. Weintraub, Stanley, ed. Shaw: An Autobiography (1898–1950), Vol II. New York: Weybright and Talley, 1970.Google Scholar
  23. Zeitlin, Froma. “Art, Memory, and Kleos in Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis.” History, Tragedy, Theory: Dialogues on Athenian Drama. Ed. Barbara Goff. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1995.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Foreign LanguagesUnited States Military AcademyWest PointUSA

Personalised recommendations