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Joan of Arc, Research Paper Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1196

Research Paper

Introduction

Joan of Arc lived from 1412 to 1431 and is a French heroine and Roman Catholic saint. She was given the nickname “The Maid of Orleans,” a famous French and Roman Catholic saint. Her mother and father were peasants by the name of Isabelle and Jacques d’ Arc. It would also be interesting to assess the process which led to Joan of Arc’s Canonization. The following will take a deeper look into the life of Joan of Arc and  these concepts.

The fact that Joan of Arc was only alive between 1412 and 1431 means she died as a teenager. Despite her brief lifespan, she is considered to be one of the most iconic figures in world history. The signature event that earned Joan of Arc her historic relevance and notoriety was the Hundred Years War, which started from 1337 as a debate over the French Throne. Prior to the birth of Joan of Arc, the English and French had been engaging in a longstanding war over political and economic conflicts where they set fire to each other’s villages and towns along country sides. There were also many assassinations within the elite power structure between French as they disputed over who the true ruler of France should be. In 1420, when the Queen of France, Isabeau of Bavaria, signed a treaty known as the Treaty of Troyes, which denounced her son Charles’s claim to the French throne and granted the title to Henry the V, as well as his heirs.  This decision was perceived to be the validation of many rumors that the Dauphin was the product of an affair between the Queen and the Duke of Orleans. The French had been experiencing consistent losses in battles with the English. For example, shortly after, Isabeau of Bavaria’s Treaty of Troyes was signed, Charles VI and Henry V both died in 1422. This left the ruling structure in the balance for both England and France with extended family acting as regents in power until a rightful heir could be established. Popular consensus was that the decision that hung in the balance relied on the control of Orleans, as it was the last region that maintained loyalty to Charles VII but also due to its strategic position in the war. At the age of 13, while in her father’s garden, Joan of Arc claimed to experience a vision where she saw Saint Catherine, Saint Margaret and Saint Michael telling her to drive England out of France and to take Dauphin Reims to his coronation. Her visions and premonitions led to her gaining the reputation of The Maiden and she would eventually play a prominent role in the political conflicts between the English and French over the control over their respective regions to resolve the one hundred years war.

In QuynhNhu Phan and Thomas Rushford’s “Joan of Arc,” the authors address the complex relationship between the political and religious factors that led to Joan of Arc’s death. Joan of Arc, who was commonly known as the Maid of France was a devout Christian and lived according to dogmatic principles of the Church. The authors also note that through her dogmatic lifestyle she served as a walking inspiration for all those around her and driven by this inspiration the French united behind her. A further analysis behind the meaning of the Maiden is revealed in Wifred Philips Barrett’s work, where the author states that “The Maiden, being by God’s grace in your subjection, should be transferred into the hands of justice of the Church that due trial might be made of her idolatries and other matters concerning our holy faith, and to repair the scandals that have arisen therefrom in our Kingdom” (Barret, 26). Here it’s revealed that the title of Maid, or Maiden, given to Joan of Arc holds a symbolic meaning within the French Church. She is seen as the bringer of justice primarily in regards to the sins of man against the Kingdom of both man and God.

In Anon’s research, the author assesses the details associated with the trial of Joan of Arc. During the trial of Joan of Arc, she was accused of having committed a wide range of crimes such as “sacrilege, idolatry, invocation of devils and other matters touching the faith and contrary to it” (Anon, 1). This material is relevant to the research because it sheds light on the reality of what happened to Joan of Arc and the accusations which resulted in her conviction and being put to death by the English government. The QuynhNhu Phan and Thomas Rushford’s further note that she inspired people to live their lives to the fullest, but despite this “she was falsely accused of heresy and burned at the stake in Rouen’s square in 1431” (Phan and Rushford, 1).  She was burned alive based on bias views and accused of being a corrupt heretic based on her form of dress and due to the fact that she refused to sign and abjuration. In regards to the complex clash between politics and religion that became an integral part of Joan of Arc’s death and legacy, the authors note that, “undoubtedly, it is hard for the readers to analyze this trial as its dual nature, being both political and religious, easily leads to misunderstanding” (Phan and Rushford, 1).  The final conclusion that the article makes is that Joan of Arc was convicted unfairly by the English government, but that justice reigned true when in 1920 Pope Benedict XV canonized her.

In Andrew Brown’s “Charisma and Routine: Shaping the Memory of Brother Richard and Joan of Arc,” the author assesses the relationship between Joan of Arc and the preacher, Brother Richard. The prophetic preacher is most commonly known for predicting the Apocalypse. Brown points out that the relationship between Joan of Arc and Brother Richard is one that declined from historical reference following her death. The author notes, “less well explained is why contemporaries initially took such an interest in this association, and how and why it began to fade from official memory after Joan’s death” (Brown, 1162). Part of the reason why such importance is placed on Brother Richard has to do with the fact that his prophecies are attributed as the main propaganda which fueled the anxieties driving Joan’s political rhetoric and actions.

Conclusion

In sum, the story of Joan of Arc is one that should interest every young person but especially young women as she is a figure of great strength and leadership, the types of which is not commonly seen in history, or even modern society. Her story interests me because she played a pivotal role in the politics of her day despite only living to be 19 years old. What’s most interesting in the part Joan of Arc played in ending the 100years war, being a woman.

Work Cited

Anon. The First Biography of Joan of Arc with the Chronicle Record of a Contemporary Account. trans. Rankin, Daniel & Quintal, Claire.

Barrett, Wilfred Phillips. The trial of Jeanne d’Arc. Routledge, 2014.

Brown, Andrew. “Charisma and Routine: Shaping the Memory of Brother Richard and Joan of Arc.” Religions 3.4 2012: 1162-1179.

Phan, QuynhNhu, and Thomas Rushford. Joan of Arc.2013: 1-5

Twain, Mark. Joan of Arc. Ignatius Press, 1989.

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