Cliffsnotes Major Barbara & St. Joan by M. F. a. Jeffery Fisher PDF

By M. F. a. Jeffery Fisher

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As the Inquisitor and Cauchon leave to witness the burning, Warwick enters and is soon followed by de Stogumber, who staggers like a demented person to the prisoner's stool and sobs uncontrollably. When asked what the matter is, he blubbers out that he did not know what he was doing and did not know how horrible death by burning was. He is thankful that The Maid asked for a cross because an English soldier was able to give her two sticks tied together for her final consolation. De Stogumber says that he feels that he is damned, and he is admonished to control himself just as Ladvenu enters, carrying a cross which he held for The Maid to see during her last moments of life; he says that he climbed onto the burning pyre, but that Joan sent him back, admonishing him of the danger to himself.

Cauchon vows to destroy all such heretics. Warwick, however, is not impressed by these theological arguments. He is not frightened that Joan might become another Mahomet and create another great schism in the Church; instead, he sees a greater danger, one that involves the very basis of the social structure of all Europe. Joan's views would do away with the feudal hierarchy of the aristocracy, a system in which the king is merely first among his peers; she would, instead, create a system in which the king would be responsible to God, ruling "as God's bailiff" and dismissing the rest of the nobility.

The view of the common people toward Joan will never waver, and in the Epilogue, we find out that the common people adored her in spite of the Church's condemnation. " The issue of Joan's clothes will become central to her trial and will play a significant part in her condemnation. But of larger importance, war has always been the business of men; this is the announced theme of Homer's Iliad and of Virgil's Aeneid, and here, we have a young country girl of seventeen usurping the prerogatives of mature, experienced soldiers, but then, the Dauphin is no "manly" man--that is, he needs someone to order him about, as Joan will do.

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