What are the themes in the play Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw?


Saint Joan

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George Bernard Shaw's play deals with the complex character of the teenage saint and martyr, St. Joan of Arc. Shaw's play examines the themes of individualism, faith and even feminism. Joan possesses all of these traits: Her extreme individualism leads her to many victories and wins her many followers, but it can also be viewed as egocentric and imprudent. Joan's faith in her God never wavers, and she inspires faith in others through her miracles. She also takes a nationalistic approach politically, believing that people should be willing to give their lives for their native land. The fact that Joan crosses traditional gender boundaries by leading men in battle despite dressing in male garb shows that she possesses the belief that a woman can succeed at any pursuit she may choose.


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