Saint Joan Preface

Topics: George Bernard Shaw, Joan of Arc, Plays Pages: 4 (1394 words) Published: May 23, 2006
In Shaw's preface there are many aspects of Joan that are given. These ideas include her being unbearable, always sure of herself but never pushy, that she was distinguished within the society, and illiterate but not unknowledgeable or ignorant. Also she is described as being intimidating and therefore no one described her as beautiful according to her looks. Bernard Shaw easily promotes these thoughts through the characters of both Joan and others around her. Joan's actions throughout the play help show how she can be all of the above descriptions plus more. In addition to Shaw's opinion of her looks and mental well-being, he includes comparisons of her with various other people such as Socrates and Napoleon. Within Bernard Shaw's preface in the play, Saint Joan, there are many assumptions but also valid descriptions of how Joan is irritating, self-absorbed, cocky, and physically unattractive which he further proves in events and characters of the play.

Shaw describes Joan mostly as being unattractive but in some ways having powerful looks which helped her at the time. In his preface he talks about her poor qualities, for example, "All the men who alluded to the matter declared most emphatically that she was unattractive sexually to a degree that seemed to them miraculous…"(Shaw 11). Here Shaw explains how the men in the town could not believe how unattractive she was physically but also how her emotions and feelings towards war also affected her looks which brings Shaw's next saying of "The evident truth is that like most women of her hardy managing type she seemed neutral in the conflict of sex because men were too much afraid of her to fall in love with her" (Shaw 11). Again Shaw describes her poor looks but includes the aspect of intimidation. The men were so intimidated by her that no one could describe her as beautiful. Further on he adds that she had a unique and powerful face which was striking to the average person and that her eyes were...
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