Versions of Reality
JOAN: "The blessed saints Catherine and Margaret, […] speak to me every day." (1.72)
This is the first time we hear that Joan has voices in her head.
JOAN: "I hear voices telling me what to do. They come from God." ROBERT: "They come from your imagination." JOAN: "Of course. That is how the messages of God come to us." (1.37-1.39)
Joan believes that her own ideas have divine origin. Does that make her crazy or a genius?
JOAN: "I love church; but the English will not yield to prayers: they understand nothing but hard knocks and slashes." (3.61)
Even though Joan has great faith in her divine voices, she still seems to have a firm grasp on the practical side of things.
THE CHAPLAIN: "This woman had her throat pierced by an English arrow, […] It was a death wound; yet she fought all day; […] the bridge […] immediately burst into flames and crumbled." (4.54)
We wonder if the Chaplain's account of Joan's "miracles" might be an exaggerated version of reality.
JOAN: "It is in the bells I hear my voices. […] where they come from a distance through the quiet of the countryside." (5.18)
Could it be that Joan's voices, though inspired by faith, are really products of her own contemplations?
JOAN: "I have to find reasons for you, because you do not believe in my voices. But the voices come first; and I find the reasons after." (5. 20)
Does it really matter where her voices come from as long what they tell her to do makes sense?
JOAN: "But what voices do you need to tell you what the blacksmith can tell you: that you must strike while the iron is hot?" (5.68)
Here again we see that Joan's voices are backed up by her own common sense.
JOAN: "Oh, it is true: it is true: my voices have deceived me. I have been mocked by devils: my faith is broken." (6.196)
This is the only time in the play that we see Joan doubt her version of reality.
JOAN: "I know that your counsel is of the devil, and that mine is of God." (6.233)
This is the ultimate blasphemy that condemns her to death.
CHARLES: "Are you a ghost, Joan?" JOAN: "Hardly […] I am but a dream that thourt dreaming." (E.28-E.29)
In the epilogue, Shaw introduces a new reality that hasn't yet been used in the play.