© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Saint Joan

Saint Joan


by George Bernard Shaw

Saint Joan Theme of Power

The conflict in Saint Joan is built around some pretty major power clashes. The Catholic Church and the English feudal lords are all challenged by Joan's rise. Her allies desert her for fear of losing the power she has helped them gain. In the end she is crushed by all of these converging forces. Saint Joan could be viewed as a case study on the disturbing lengths people will go to in order to maintain and gain power.

Questions About Power

  1. Who seems to be more powerful – the Church or the Aristocracy?
  2. Why is Joan's Nationalism a threat to the feudal lords?
  3. Are Joan's companions truly powerless to stop her execution?
  4. How much power does Joan have in commanding the army? Is she just a figurehead or does she make real decisions?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Joan is crushed between the two great powers of her time – the Church and the Aristocracy.

Joan's Nationalistic urge to centralize power with the King, threatens to upset the feudal structure of her entire society.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...