compare and contrast how two authors cover the history of the trial of joan of arc

Compare and contrast how two authors cover the history of the trial of Joan of Arc.


The mere mention of the name Joan of Arc brings us pictures of a lady leading soldiers to battle. Many books have been written about her heroic exploits in the French and English battle fields. Her storybook legacy climaxes with her being tried by a bias court where evidences are fabricated and other cards stacked high against her. The true legend ends with her being burned at the stakes in 1431. The following paragraphs will categorically explain in detail the similarities and differences between two authors.



Both authors described her as a martyr. Both writers agreed that she was instrumental in uniting France. She was also the driving force that paved the way for the rise to the throne of King Charles VII. Both agreed that she was framed and the evidences were fraudulently stacked against her.  They agreed that the judges were incompetent, the court procedures rigged to make her lose her case, Joan of Arc was not given the right to have her choice of lawyers to defend her. Both refereed journal writers agreed that she was falsely accused of heresy by politically  -motivated Englishmen.  Both authors indicated that the the France -based Burgundians captured her and turned her over to the English to be tried. She was charged and fraudulently convicted for heresy. For, she was regarded as a danger to the English Catholic Church (Matthews 1996; Peters 2004).


Pamela Matthews describes Joan of Arc as an iconic person. The Saint is described as an equestrian uniformed in full medieval battle armor. She carries a sword as she gallops into the thick of the fight with fire and fervor in her demeanor. She is then poignantly depicted to be followed behind by battle -weary soldiers from her homeland, France. Her her outfit blends harmoniously with the incongruously outfitted soldiers. Her brandished sword contrastingly brings forth power with the firmly clasped rifles of her loyal soldiers marching behind her. She fought her predominantly winning battles at the age of seventeen and she was burned on the stakes at the tender age of nineteen(Matthews 1996).

Further, the author brings up symbols that remind people of her generation during the fifteenth century and the generations replacing them that there once was a heroine and a martyr who stood up for France against the English invaders. These symbols are her sword, her short hair, her masculine attire, her steadfast bravura emanating from riding a horse into where the conflict has to be settled. In addition, she is also featured as a childlike innocence thrust in an uncharted world where only brave men dare to venture. The two things that struck the author’s mind is the issue of gender and nationalism. She is a woman and a patriotic person willing to lay down her life for the sake of her country. The author also fittingly emphasizes that she was instrumental in uniting and making coherent her once divisive faction -laden  nation. She was a woman fighting for the independence from the intruding English invaders and the Burgundians. She is packaged as the defender of France  where its boundaries were volatile. Finally, the author capitalizes by stating in a nutshell that Saint Joan of Arc was a young, rebellious, brave and completely misunderstood leader. This is precisely the stuff that the young idols are made off(Matthews 1996).

On the other hand, Julie Stone Peters describes Saint Joan of Arc as an illiterate peasant girl. She is described as a cross -wearing lady with the passion to free her native land, France from the English invaders in 1428. She was also the secret ingredient for the dauphin Charles VII to eagerly take the coveted throne. this throne symbolizes kingship in France. She is described as a woman on a roll. She was a young leader that mesmerized soldiers as they many battles against the English forces (Peters 2004).


The two authors above have similar and different descriptions that envelope the person named Saint Joan of Arc. Both authors believe she was a martyr, a saint, instrumental in uniting France. She is also described as a woman leading a group of soldiers into countless victories against the uninvited English intruders. Both writers also described her trial as rigged because the judges were incompetent. She was charged for heresy by her politically motivated English accusers. As expected she was convicted by and sentenced to burn at the stakes in 1431.

On the other hand, both authors described her differently, the above paragraphs show the harmonious and complimentary differences that increases the Saint and martyr status of

of this young, brave, innocent, magical and nationalistic French uneducated peasant girl.

Pamela Matthews aptly pins the symbols  of the sword, short hair, masculine attire, and  steadfast bravura emanating from riding a horse, and childlike innocence to Joan of Arc.

On the other hand, Julie Stone Peters unquestionably describes Saint Joan of Arc as an illiterate peasant girl wearing the cross clothed with the passion to free her native land, France from the English invaders the the early 1400s.

 Works Cited

Matthews, Pamela R. 1996. Glasgow’s Joan of Arc in Context. The Mississippi Quarterly 49, no. 2: 211+.

Peters, Julie Stone. 2004. Joan of Arc Internationale: Shaw, Brecht, and the Law of Nations. Comparative Drama 38, no. 4: 355+.


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