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Summary

Saint Joan Scene Six Summary Page 1

  • Stage directions say it's a marvelous spring morning in Rouen.
  • The date is May 30, 1431.
  • We're in another stone room in a castle. It's set up like a court room.
  • Warwick and his Page enter.
  • The Page gets all sassy and tells his boss that they're not supposed to be there. This is Church court and they are not very Churchly.
  • Warwick tells him to run along and find Cauchon.
  • He wants to speak to his old buddy, the Bishop of Beauvais, before the trial starts.
  • The Nobleman reminds his Page to not be sassy with the Bishop.
  • Just then, Cauchon enters with two other Church guys. One is a Dominican monk and the other is a canon. (No, not like a gun. A canon was a doctor of law and theology.)
  • The Page announces Cauchon and scampers away.
  • Cauchon introduces his peeps.
  • The Dominican monk's name is Brother John Lemaitre. He is an Inquisitor.
  • The other guy is Canon John D'Estivet. He is the Promoter in the trial. We'd call him a prosecutor. (It sounds much nicer to call him Promoter, though, doesn't it?)
  • Warwick complains that the trial is taking way too long.
  • It's been a while since Joan was taken prisoner at Compiegne by the Burgundians.
  • He paid a lot of money to have her shipped over to the Church. What gives?
  • The Inquisitor smiles, and says that the trial hasn't even begun.
  • There's been fifteen examinations, but he's only been at two of them.
  • The Inquisitor says at first he didn't want to bother with Joan's trial because he thought it was just a political issue. He felt like there was no real heresy so it wasn't any of his business.
  • Now, after hearing Joan talk, he's convinced that it's the worst case of heresy he's ever seen. (Poor Joan doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut.)
  • Warwick is very happy to hear this and admits that he was getting impatient.
  • Cauchon says that the Nobleman's impatience has been pretty obvious, since his soldiers have been threatening to drown anyone involved with the trial who supports Joan.
  • Warwick acts all innocent.
  • The Bishop tells Warwick that he's determined to give Joan a fair trial.
  • The Inquisitor says that he's never seen a fairer trial. It's so fair that Joan doesn't even need a defense attorney, because everybody here is trying to save her.
  • The Promoter, D'Estivet, agrees. He says that if he wasn't sure that everybody here is trying to help Joan, he'd defend her himself. On top of that, they've been really nice to her. They haven't tortured her or anything.
  • Warwick comments that, though he regrets it, it is necessary politically that Joan die.
  • Cauchon warns the Nobleman that, if Joan is cleared by the Church and someone kills her anyway, that person will get an ecclesiastical smack down.
  • The Inquisitor cuts in and points out that they needn't fight about it. Joan is her own worst enemy. Everything she says digs a deeper hole.
  • Warwick says that's good. He'd hate to have to act without the Church's permission.
  • The Nobleman exits.
  • Cauchon, The Inquisitor, and D'Estivet settle down for the trial.
  • Cauchon makes the point that English nobles are all scoundrels.
  • The Inquisitor says that all secular power corrupts. The aristocracy isn't pure and clean and wonderful like the Church.
  • All kinds of clergyman start pouring into the court room and take their seats.
  • Our angry little friend from scene four, the Chaplain de Stogumber, is among them. Guess what? He's still angry.
  • He's accompanied by a guy named Courcelles, who is the Canon of Paris.
  • The Chaplain and Courcelles complain to Cauchon that they worked super-hard on an elaborate indictment of Joan.
  • They came up with 64 crimes they think she should be convicted of.
  • Somebody has reduced the number of indictments without even asking them.
  • The Inquisitor says he's the one who reduced the number. In fact he's cut the indictments down from 64 to 12.
  • The Chaplain and Courcelles are outraged.
  • What about the fact that Joan's voices speak to her in French, asks the Chaplain. St. Margaret, St. Catherine, and the archangel Michael clearly should've spoken in English.
  • The Inquisitor draws the Chaplain's attention to the fact that everybody here agrees that Joan's voices are really Satan speaking. Is the Chaplain implying that English is the language of the Devil? (Good one.)
  • The Chaplain can't think of a good comeback and sits down.
  • Courcelles isn't finished with them, though. He accuses Joan of the unpardonable sin of stealing the Bishop of Senlis's horse.
  • Cauchon is getting fed up with this nonsense.
  • The Inquisitor tells them that The Maid claims she paid for the horse and anyway the charges of heresy will be quite enough to convict her on.
  • He goes on to say that the stuff that they put in the indictments about Joan praying at magic wells and dancing around fairy trees is useless. They'd have to burn half the peasant girls in France if they convicted her for that.
  • Another Dominican monk named Ladvenu asks if there's any real harm to Joan's heresy. Many saints in the past have said similar things to Joan.
  • The Inquisitor launches into an incredibly long monologue about the dangers of heresy.
  • First he says that the worst heresies always start out with somebody who seems pious and simple. It seems innocent at first but then everything gets way out of hand.
  • He says that when women start dressing like men they end up being followed just like John the Baptist.
  • The next thing you know you've got wild bands of men and women who run around naked in the woods.
  • Everybody has sex with everybody else and before long you've got polygamy and incest.
  • It's the Church's job to protect mankind from this madness.
  • He tells the court that Joan will not seem like a person who could cause such horror.
  • The pride that's led her to this end is cloaked in humility. Still they have to do their duty for the good of everyone.
  • The Inquisitor orders anyone in the court who has cruel intentions toward Joan to leave immediately.
  • The Inquisition is a merciful organization he argues. It's saved hundreds of heretics from being cruelly torn apart and stoned by peasants. The Inquisition, by comparison, handles heretics with mercy.
  • He says that he is a compassionate kind of guy and is only doing this because the consequences of letting heresy spread are horrible.
  • He ends his speech by saying that they must proceed not with anger or even pity, but with mercy.
  • Cauchon adds that the most serious heresy of Joan's is a little thing called Protestantism.
  • (Basically, he's horrified at the idea that someone might speak to God directly, without the Church as a go-between.)
  • All the people whisper to each other. They've never heard of Protestantism.
  • Okey doke, let's bring in Joan, says the Inquisitor.
  • Joan enters.
  • She's dressed in a black page's suit and is a little worse for the wear. All in all, though, she still seems vital and strong.
  • The Inquisitor asks how she's doing.
  • She says she ate some carp that made her sick.
  • Cauchon tells her he ordered that she have fresh fish.
  • Joan says she just doesn't like carp.
  • She complains that she's been left in the hands of the mean old English and not the Church.
  • They have evidently chained her to a log, which isn't very fun at all. What do they think, that she's going to fly away?
  • D'Estivet says that's exactly what they think.
  • Before they chained her she jumped out of the sixty foot tower that she's imprisoned in. How could she have survived the fall if she wasn't an evil flying witch?
  • Joan points out that the tower seems to get taller every time D'Estivet interrogates her about the incident.
  • D'Estivet says that by trying to escape Joan committed heresy.
  • Joan tells him he's a fool. Why is it heresy to try and escape when you're imprisoned? It's only common sense.
  • Cauchon warns her not to be so snippy.
  • The Inquisitor cuts in and orders that Joan be sworn in. She has to put her hand on the Gospels and promise to tell the whole truth.
  • Joan refuses, saying that it's impossible to tell the whole truth because God hasn't revealed all of it to mankind.
  • Courcelles suggests that they torture Joan.
  • The Executioner says that the torture devices are ready to go.
  • Joan tells them that torture would be useless. She'd just say whatever they wanted her to and then take it all back afterward.
  • Ladvenu says this makes sense, and that they should proceed mercifully.
  • Courcelles whines that they always torture people. It's standard procedure.
  • Cauchon puts his foot down. No torture allowed.
  • Joan calls Courcelles a noodle. (Really, she does.)
  • This was apparently very offensive back then, because Courcelles calls her a wanton. (Wanton=promiscuous woman.)
  • The Inquisitor settles everybody down.
  • Cauchon asks Joan if she'll start obeying the Church.
  • No problem, she says, as long as y'all don't ask me do impossible things like not obey my voices.
  • Your voices are from Satan, though, says the Inquisitor. We say so and we're the Church. Don't you know we're wiser than you?
  • Joan retorts that God is wiser than everybody and she does what He says.
  • Everybody tells her that she's condemning herself by saying she's knows God's wishes better than the Church.
  • Courcelles brings up the stolen horse again.
  • Cauchon calls him an idiot.
  • The Inquisitor asks the D'Estivet if they're going to continue to push all these nonsense charges.
  • We ought to, says the Promoter, but the most serious ones are that she talks to evil spirits and dresses like a man.
  • OK, what about these evil spirits, the Inquisitor asks Joan.
  • She reiterates that they're not evil. They come from God.
  • The Inquisitor asks for the last time if she'll stop wearing men's clothes.
  • Nope, she says. It's just common sense. She was a soldier. She lived with soldiers and now she's imprisoned by them. If she starts dressing like a woman they'll think of her as a woman. Then they might be tempted to take advantage of her.
  • Ladvenu points out that what Joan is saying sounds more like the simple common sense of a peasant than heresy.
  • Joan retorts that, if everybody back on the farm was as simple as these Church guys, there'd be no bread for anyone.
  • We're only trying to save you, Ladvenu tells her. You don't see it because you're full of pride.
  • Joan doesn't understand what she's said wrong. As far as she sees it, she's only been telling the truth.
  • Ladvenu directs her attention to the Executioner standing behind her.
  • He informs her that this is her last chance to repent before she's taken of to the market to be burnt at the stake.
  • Whoa, exclaims Joan. The stake? For real? My voices told me I wouldn't be burnt.
  • Cauchon yells at her that her voices have obviously been lying, sense she is about to be burnt.
  • Joan is getting freaked out now.
  • She convinces herself that it's OK to recant. God gave her common sense and no person with any sense would just let themselves be burnt.
  • She decides to give in.
  • Ladvenu starts whipping up a confession for her to sign.
  • The Chaplain is of course furious. He says that all Frenchman are dirty traitors and that it doesn't matter if this court clears her. There's a ton of English soldiers outside and they'll burn her anyway.
  • The Inquisitor tells him to sit.
  • He says, no I'm going to stand.
  • OK, stand then, says the Inquisitor.
  • The Chaplain decides to sit.
  • Ladvenu reads out loud the confession that Joan is supposed to sign.
  • It basically says that she's been a very bad girl. She's hung out with evil spirits, dressed like a man, been generally disobedient, and is full of pride.
  • Ladvenu helps her sign her name.
  • Hurrah, says Ladvenu. Joan is saved.
  • The Inquisitor declares that she'll no longer be burnt. However, her blasphemies are so great that she'll have to be imprisoned for the rest of her life.
  • Joan is not having that.
  • She rips up the confession and tells them that living in a cell for the rest of her life wouldn't be living at all. She goes on to say that the fact that they condemned her to such a fate is a sure sign that they are the ones doing the Devil's work, not her.
  • That pretty much seals the deal.
  • Cauchon and the Inquisitor declare that she's a heretic.
  • The Chaplain calls for the fire to be lit and she's carted away.
  • Everybody rushes out to the execution except Cauchon and the Inquisitor.
  • Cauchon says they ought to go make sure the execution is done according to the proper procedure.
  • The Inquisitor tells him it's not their responsibility anymore. He goes on to say that it's a bad thing when an innocent person is put to death. She had no real understanding of how heretical her beliefs were.
  • Warwick enters. He and Cauchon trade some snippy comments before Cauchon and the Inquisitor exit to watch the burning.
  • The nobleman is left alone in the courtroom. He calls out for anybody, but they've all gone to the execution.
  • Just then, the Chaplain comes running in.
  • He's crying. (Whoa, shouldn't he be happy?)
  • Turns out he has no stomach for executions. Watching Joan get burnt made him realize what a butthole he's been.
  • Warwick tells him to settle down and advises him to stay away from executions if they freak him out so much.
  • This does nothing to stop the Chaplain's ranting.
  • He tells Warwick that an English soldier gave Joan two sticks that she could hold together like a cross. He adds that there were people out there laughing at Joan. He's sure they were French.
  • Ladvenu reenters carrying a cross.
  • He says that he was trying to hold it up so that Joan could see it while she burned.
  • Joan told him that he shouldn't because they'd burn him, too.
  • He's now convinced that Joan was innocent, because nobody who was guided by the Devil would be so selfless in the face of death.
  • Ladvenu says that when she called out to Jesus as she was dying, that she must've really seen him hovering in the sky.
  • He adds that he heard people laughing and he's pretty sure they were English.
  • At this point, the Chaplain goes crazy and runs out screaming about how he's got to go hang himself.
  • Warwick tells Ladvenu to go make sure he doesn't hurt himself.
  • The Executioner shows up and reports that everything is finished. All of Joan's remains have been dumped in the river. This includes her heart, which, for some reason, wouldn't burn.
  • He declares that they've heard the last of her.
  • As the scene draws to a close, Warwick is not so sure that this is true.

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