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Saint Joan

Saint Joan


by George Bernard Shaw

Saint Joan Scene Two Summary

  • Stage directions tell us we are in Chinon, Touraine. It is the 8th of March, 1429.
  • The Archbishop of Rheims and the Lord Chamberlain, Monseigneur de la Trémouille are hanging out in the throne room of a castle.
  • La Tremouille is described as "monstrous" and "arrogant," while the Archbishop said to be "imposing" (2.1).
  • At present the Lord Chamberlain is complaining that the Dauphin owes him too much money.
  • The Archbishop remarks that the Dauphin owes him money too. He has no idea where all the money goes, as the Dauphin dresses and eats like a bum.
  • A Page enters and tells them that a man is coming named Monsieur de Rais, a.k.a. Bluebeard. Stage directions tell us that he does indeed have a short blue beard.
  • Bluebeard enters, greets them familiarly, and asks if they've seen somebody named La Hire.
  • La Tremouille comments that La Hire has probably swore himself to death. (Apparently La Hire has a serious cursing problem.)
  • Bluebeard says that the opposite is true. A guy named Foul Mouthed Frank was recently told that he shouldn't swear so much, since he was close to death.
  • The Archbishop asks if the Frank was indeed close to death.
  • Bluebeard informs him that, not long after being told so, Frank fell down a well and drowned.
  • Captain La Hire enters and tells them all that it wasn't just another soldier who prophesied Foul Mouthed Frank's death, it was an angel.
  • He goes to say that the "angel" has made her way through the total chaos that is the French countryside with only a dozen soldiers. Apparently, they got all the way to Chinon without even getting in a fight.
  • La Hire swears he'll never swear again.
  • The Page reenters and announces the Dauphin.
  • The stage directions tell us that he's really King Charles VII, since his father died. Unfortunately for him, no coronation has happened, so he's stuck being called the Dauphin.
  • We're also told that he's kind of skinny and unimposing. However, he's not stupid or anything and still manages to hold his own.
  • Charles approaches the Archbishop with a letter in his hands. It turns out that it's from our old buddy from scene one, Robert de Baudricourt.
  • The Archbishop isn't interested in the letter and tells Charles so in a snide kind of way.
  • La Tremouille snatches the letter out of the Charles' hand and tries to read it. He's practically illiterate, though, so he has to slowly sound out the words.
  • Charles complains that no one respects him because he owes them all money and isn't any good at fighting. He says that he has the royal blood and they better recognize.
  • The Archbishop replies that it's not even certain that Charles has royal blood. (Remember in scene one when we found out that the Queen has denied her son?)
  • Charles tells the Archbishop that he's sick of all his disrespectful lectures. If the Archbishop is so great, how come he doesn't have saints and angels coming to see him?
  • The priest is all like: what are you talking about?
  • Charles tells him to ask La Tremouille, who is still trying to read the letter.
  • The Archbishop takes it and reads.
  • He says that he expected more common sense out of Robert de Baudricourt. He's sent some crazy country girl to them.
  • Charles says, no, he's sent an angel and a saint.
  • On top of that, she's coming for him not any of these other guys who pick on him all time. He's special, not them so nah nah nah.
  • The priest refuses to let the Dauphin see the girl.
  • The Dauphin says he will if he wants. Both his grandfather and father had saints in their courts, so he should have one too.
  • The Archbishop says that the girl isn't a saint at all. In fact she's a disreputable woman who dresses in men's clothes and runs around the countryside with soldiers.
  • La Hire finally connects the dots and figures out that this must be the very same "angel" who told Foul Mouthed Frank that he was going to die.
  • Charles says this is proof of her miraculous powers.
  • Everybody starts bickering about whether this is indeed a miracle or a coincidence. (It seems all anybody does at this court is bicker.)
  • Bluebeard suggests that they test the girl's powers. They'll invite the girl in to see the Dauphin. The only thing is that the Dauphin she'll meet will really be Bluebeard in disguise. If she sees through the deception then that proves her abilities.
  • The Archbishop puts his foot down and threatens to excommunicate Charles if he sees the girl at all. (Excommunication = being kicked out of the Church = eternal damnation.)
  • Charles takes a step back but points out that De Baudricourt says the girl will kick the butts of the English at Orleans.
  • Bluebeard says that they've got Jack Dunois (a.k.a. the Bastard) in charge of the troops at Orleans. He's apparently super studly and an awesome soldier.
  • The Dauphin asks why Dunois can't beat the English if he's so great.
  • The wind is the problem, says La Hire. Dunois has got to sail his troops upriver, so they can get behind the English and kick them off of a strategically important bridge.
  • La Hire advises that they should give the girl a shot at another miracle. What can it hurt?
  • The Archbishop is beginning to reconsider.
  • He points out that De Baudricourt seems extremely impressed by the girl.
  • La Hire says that Baudricourt is a dumbass, but, if he believes it, the other soldiers might too.
  • La Tremouille advises the Archbishop to listen to La Hire. If something isn't done soon to inspire the soldiers they're all screwed.
  • The Archbishop finally agrees but says the Church has to approve of her before anything is decided.
  • Bluebeard and Charles go off to prepare the little deception that Bluebeard proposed earlier.
  • La Tremouille wonders if she'll be able to pick out the true Dauphin.
  • It probably won't be much of a problem, says the Archbishop. She'll know who Bluebeard is because – well, he has a blue beard. The Dauphin will be easy to find because she'll know like everybody else that he's the scrawniest guy at court.
  • La Tremouille says that that means it won't be a miracle if she chooses the right person.
  • Of course it will be a miracle, the Archbishop tells him. An event is a miracle as long as it creates faith. If it inspires people to believe in God, it doesn't matter if it's somewhat fraudulent. (So, a lie is okay as long as it makes people believe the truth? Hmm.)
  • A curtain opens to reveal the full court – knights and ladies, etc.
  • Everybody is hanging out, waiting to see if the girl will see through the deception.
  • Bluebeard is standing on a dais pretending to be Charles. The Duchess de la Trémouille (La Trémouille's wife) pretends to be the Dauphin's wife.
  • The Page announces Joan as she enters.
  • Since last we saw her, she has cut her hair really short.
  • The Duchess La Trémouille makes fun of her.
  • Joan announces that she wears her hair this way because she is a soldier.
  • She asks where the Dauphin is.
  • Bluebeard proclaims very majestically that he is the Dauphin.
  • Joan is all like, Bluebeard please – where the real Dauphin at?
  • Everybody laughs, including Joan.
  • Joan looks around the crowd and picks Charles out with no problem.
  • She curtseys to him and says that she's come to the save Orleans, drive the English out of France, and crown him King at Rheims cathedral.
  • Ha! says Charles, to his court, I told all y'all I was the real King.
  • He tells her she's got to go talk to the Archbishop before he can be crowned at Rheims.
  • Joan falls to her knees before the Archbishop and begs him to bless her.
  • The priest is greatly flattered.
  • He tells Joan that there is danger in being so in love with religion.
  • The court laughs at Joan's over enthusiastic show of reverence toward the Archbishop.
  • The Archbishop lectures them like a grumpy granddaddy.
  • Joan asks the priest if she can be alone with Charles.
  • He agrees and tells everybody that Joan was sent by God.
  • After everybody leaves, Joan asks Charles why he lets them bully him.
  • He says he can't help it. He never wanted to the heir to the throne. It was thrust upon him. Killing is no fun for him. He'd rather live life his own way.
  • Joan says she'll put some courage into him.
  • He doesn't want any. A nice comfy bed is more his style.
  • It's either be a king or a bum, Joan tells him. He's not fit to be anything else.
  • She says that the people won't accept him as King until he gets the holy oil poured on him at Rheims.
  • Joan also points out that he needs some new clothes and asks why his are so ratty.
  • Charles tells her that he spends all the money on his wife's clothes. He doesn't care what he looks like.
  • The Maid observes that there is some goodness him, but it's not up to kingly standards yet.
  • The Dauphin tells her that he's much more into negotiating treaties than he is making war.
  • Joan says that if the English win the war, then they'll make the treaty, and the French won't have diddley.
  • We have to pray, she tells him.
  • Charles informs her that he doesn't like people that pray all the time.
  • Joan feels bad for him and suggests that she teach him how to pray.
  • The Dauphin is sick of being taught anything. He's got a son of his own; he's done with learning.
  • The Maid tries to inspire him to fight in the name of his son.
  • This tactic fails to inspire, because Charles can't stand the little boy.
  • Getting a little peevish, Charles says that Joan and everybody else should mind their own business.
  • Joan gets up on her high horse and tells him that he should be doing God's business. He must be crowned at Rheims as God wishes. If he is, then France will be his holy province and any of the nobles who stand in his way will be rebels against God.
  • Charles finally gets inspired.
  • He calls the whole court back in and announces that Joan is now in charge of the army.
  • La Trémouille complains that he's supposed to be in charge of the army.
  • For a second, Charles almost gives in, but Joan puts a hand on his shoulder bolstering his courage.
  • Charles dismisses his old bully with an elaborate kingly gesture.
  • Joan calls out to the crowd triumphantly, asking who is with God and her.
  • They all shout that they're with her. Hurrah.

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