Stanley J. Solomon (essay date February 1964)
SOURCE: Solomon, Stanley J. “Saint Joan as Epic Tragedy.” Modern Drama 6, no. 4 (February 1964): 437-49.
[In the following essay, Solomon explores the consequences of synthesizing epic and tragic elements in Saint Joan.]
Several of the critical problems related to Saint Joan stem from the unusual nature of the play—unusual, that is, for Shaw, for in no other Shaw play do we have a predominantly tragic tone.1 In the numerous commentaries on the play, we find three key questions frequently recurring: 1) Is Joan a tragic heroine with a tragic flaw or an innocent victim of circumstances? 2) Although Joan has our sympathies throughout, why...
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