From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Saint Joan

Saint Joan


by George Bernard Shaw

Saint Joan Theme of Warfare

Saint Joan is set in medieval France, which was at the time in the throes of the Hundred Years War. There are many different factions vying for power, the main ones being the English, the Burgundians, and the Armagnacs. In the play, Joan sets off on a mission from God, to make war on all those who oppose uniting France under the rule of the Armagnac, and heir to the French throne, Charles VII. Saint Joan depicts warfare as everything from a unifier to a divider to a holy right.

Questions About Warfare

  1. Is Joan's love of warfare at odds with her Christian faith?
  2. If war is hell, why do we do it over and over again?
  3. In what ways is war used as a unifier? In what ways does it divide?
  4. What are Joan's criticisms of the fighting methods of Dunois's knights?

Chew on This

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

A Christian warrior saint is an inherently paradoxical title.

War is the only possible way to unite France. Negotiations would prove useless.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...