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Saint Joan

Saint Joan


by George Bernard Shaw

Saint Joan Scene Five Summary

  • We are in the Cathedral at Rheims, the stage directions tell us.
  • Joan, dressed really nicely, is praying before a cross.
  • Dunois enters. He's dressed really well, too.
  • He tells Joan that the crowd outside is calling for her.
  • She doesn't want to go out there. The King should get all the glory, she says.
  • Dunois tells her it won't be as bad as the bridge at Orleans.
  • Joan says she wishes they were there now.
  • Dunois advises her to take it easy with the whole war thing.
  • The Maid observes that Dunois has become her friend.
  • He says that it is true, and that she sure needs one with all these haters around.
  • Joan doesn't understand why most of the people at court despise her. After all she's brought them lots of victories and crowned the King just like she said she would. She's barely asked anything for herself. What's their deal?
  • Dunois tells her that they hate her because she shows them up all the time.
  • Joan vows to go back to the country after they take Paris.
  • Her buddy warns her that the court probably won't let her take the city.
  • The Maid moans that the world is too wicked for her.
  • She goes on for quite some time about how her voices are the only thing that keep her going.
  • She talks about how she hears them speaking to her from the ringing of bells.
  • Dunois interrupts and says that it makes him uneasy when she talks about her voices.
  • He'd think she was crazy if she didn't give solid reasons for doing the things they tell her to do.
  • Joan says that she makes up the good solid reasons because he doesn't believe in her voices. It's the voices that come first, though.
  • Dunois asks if she's angry.
  • She says she's not mad at him at least.
  • Charles enters with Bluebeard and La Hire.
  • Dunois asks how Charles feels about having been anointed King.
  • Charles says it sucked. The royal robes were way too heavy and holy oil smelled like poo.
  • Joan tells Charles that, since he is King now, she'll be going back to the family farm.
  • Charles is relieved to hear it, which makes Joan sad.
  • She observes that none of them will miss her.
  • La Hire tells her that he will indeed miss her, and that she will miss the fighting.
  • She asks La Hire if he will kill all the English on French soil.
  • She prophesies that she won't live to see the day.
  • Joan asks Dunois if he thinks they'll be able to get rid of the English.
  • He swears to get the job done one way or another.
  • It suddenly occurs to her that they should take Paris before she goes back to the farm.
  • Charles thinks that's a terrible idea. He's sick of fighting. He'd much rather make a treaty.
  • The Archbishop enters.
  • The King tattles on Joan, telling the Archbishop that she wants to keep making war.
  • Joan is like: yeah, that's right. She asks the Archbishop to back her up and say that God wants them to keep fighting.
  • The Archbishop says he's not as sure about what God wants as she is.
  • He thinks that her assurance is a sign that she is guilty of the sin of pride.
  • Joan says that she can't help it if she knows better than everybody else. Her voices give her the inside scoop.
  • Charles asks why voices don't come to him since he's the King.
  • Joan tells him it's because he doesn't listen for them.
  • Again, she insists that they must go take Paris.
  • La Hire agrees.
  • Dunois says it's a bad idea and that they should know when they're beaten.
  • Joan is all like: what're you talking about? We're winning.
  • She points out that they'd still be stuck in Orleans if it wasn't for her urging them to fight.
  • Dunois gives her credit for inspiring their victories, but points out that he had a hand in it as well. It takes more than miracles to run an army.
  • Joan criticizes his way of making war. Pretty soon everybody will start using cannons. What good are knights against gunpowder? On top of that, all the knights are wusses. They fight for money, not God and Country like they ought to do. She says that the common people understand her way of thinking. They'll follow her just like they did at Orleans, when all the nobles were afraid to fight.
  • The Archbishop accuses her again of pride.
  • Joan says she doesn't care if it's pride if what she's saying is true.
  • La Hire backs her up.
  • Dunois says that he has learned to fight in a new way. He's learned his lessons while fighting with Joan.
  • He tells Joan that she rushes headlong into things without thinking about the consequences.
  • They'll be outnumbered if they try to take Paris. No amount of faith in God will stop them from being crushed.
  • Dunois says that, if she tries it, she'll be captured, and he won't let any of his soldiers die trying to rescue her.
  • Joan says that France will probably pay her ransom.
  • Nope, says the King. I'm broke. This whole coronation thing has taken my every last penny.
  • How about the Church, she asks the Archbishop.
  • He tells her that the Church will burn her as a witch.
  • This surprises Joan.
  • The Archbishop tells her that Cauchon has just burnt a woman in Paris for saying that what she's been doing is right.
  • Joan asks him if he'd speak up for her at least. Maybe, they'd listen to them since he's Mr. Big Church Man.
  • He says nope. You're too full of pride.
  • How am I full of pride, asks Joan. I just do what my voices tell me. They come from God. Why is doing God's will bad?
  • The Archbishop tells her that the Church is God's voice on Earth; her voices are just her pride talking.
  • She retorts that, even if her voices come from her own mind and aren't sent from God, aren't they always right?
  • Everybody gives her one last warning, reiterating that, if she gets captured trying to liberate Paris, they won't lift a finger to help her.
  • Joan is disappointed in all of them.
  • She realizes now how alone she actually is. It's OK, though, because God is alone as well. As she exits to greet her admirers outside, she's decided to put her trust in the Lord.
  • After she leaves, the men express some regret at abandoning her, but they don't see any way around it.

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