Shakespeare and St. Joan of Arc

In Henry VI, Shakespeare portrays St. Joan as a witch that’s deservedly executed.

Even though she wasn’t canonized until the 20th century, do you think Shakespeare committed a (venial) sin by doing this, in the sense that he was defaming a holy person out of patriotic sentiments?

No. Even a venial sin requires some measure of accountability.

St. Joan of Arc (a 16-year old illiterate peasant girl, and one of my favorite Saints) led the French army to an astonishing series of victories against the English (who had previously dominated the war) with practically no bloodshead (and the French have never been particularly good at warfare so this was, indeed, a stunning accomplishment).

The Hundred Years War was a war between two Christian nations. The idea that God would “take sides” with the French was something that the English were unwilling to even consider. So the English portrayed St. Joan as being led by the devil, not by God.

Shakespeare (and most other English subjects), in the absence of any conflicting information, accepted this depiction (why should they question it?). It was not sinful for them to do so, as it is not sinful for us to believe that Stalin and Hitler were evil men, based on the testimony we have heard.

Interesting question. Interesting answer.

The trouble with most posters on this forum is that they have no idea of the battle against *Principalities and Powers * that began in the Garden of Eden and will continue to the end of time. There is ongoing, a fierce battle between the Devil and his followers - be they aware of it or not - and Christianity for the souls of mankind.

Here is an esoteric explanation of your question Ephelduath, but a Catholicism is denuded of this means of knowledge most dismiss it all as ‘conspiracy theory’ and the Devil wins one more round.

Bacon’s ‘Great Secret’ (Alfred Dodd: Francis Bacon’s Personal Life-Story, Rider & Co., 194,)

Dodd then reveals that Bacon was without doubt the real father of English literature, not only with his own writings but including those he compiled under the name of Shakespeare, containing as they do a multitude of styles ‘depending on whether he was addressing a king, a great nobleman, a philosopher or a friend, composing a state paper, extolling truth or discussing studies.’ A point well worth pondering on is here alluded to by Dodd, the fact that there was never a Shakespeare in the making.

‘For did not Shakes-Speare spring into being fully armed at all points
as a play write in the world arena, as though he had never served a
laborious apprenticeship to the craft of the quill?’

Now about Bacon:
As a boy Bacon was known as ‘Baby Solomon’, an apt name for those familiar with the allegorical and esoteric meaning of the term. ‘At twelve his industry was above the capacity and his mind beyond the reach of his contemporaries. At fifteen he came to the conclusion that the scholastic school or method and the seminaries were stagnant pools; they were opposed to the advancement of knowledge; a degree therefore meant to him a label, identifying him with a system he despised. Later he said of them: ‘‘in the universities they learn nothing but to believe.’’ He saw ‘‘a world plunged in gross darkness as regards first principles, a darkness that could only be dispersed by the light of knowledge, an informed method of study that would ultimately bring about a universal reformation in art, science, philosophy and religion.’’ His works demonstrate that he consecrated himself to the task in the most devout frame of mind. Later on he was to avow that he regarded himself ‘‘as a servant to posterity’’, as a channel for the outflow of the divine mind. From boyhood he held to this idea that his work was impressed with divine seal.’

In other words he was an anti-christ Freemason laying the seeds of destruction to belief in revelation.

Since it was first disclosed that Francis Bacon was that wholly accomplished writer Shakespeare, many ‘experts’ have dismissed the notion as nonsense, and no doubt, will continue to do so. Such critiques may well succeed on the mundane level where it makes no difference who really wrote the Shakespearian works. On an esoteric level, Dodd wrote with understanding and authority, that which is reflected only in the higher initiates. From our own studies we believe Shakespeare himself gives the game away when he acts totally out of character by his vicious attack on the integrity of (St) Joan of Arc in his play Henry VI, treating the English as having ‘God as our fortress’ and the French as being one with the ‘witches and the help of hell.’ (Pt.I, Act.II, Sc.1). The likes of Bacon would be very well aware that Joan la Puchelle was used by God in this war of Principalities and Powers. Consequently, whereas he was a man able to engage and parry as equal with anyone from King to the most lowly wretch, all of whom are manifested in the writings of Shakespeare, he could not contain himself when making reference to a superior on the Melchisedech field of combat, Joan of Arc, now a saint, the patron saint for Catholics in their war against freemasonry.
Evidence that Bacon was Shakespeare can be found in many publications. In Walter Ellis’s The Shakespeare Myth, he writes:

‘In the first part of Henry the Sixth Jeanne d’Arc addresses the Duke of Burgundy in a speech of thirty-three lines. This speech is an absolutely faithful version of a letter in France written by the Maid of Orleans to the then Duke of Burgundy and dated July 17th, 1429. There is no historical authority for this letter which never saw the light of print till discovered by the Historian of the house of Burgundy in 1780. Bacon in his travels might easily have seen this letter: in fact the author of this play must have done so. Shakespeare [Bill Shaksper] was never within miles of it.’

That is a humor piece in case you’re unaware.

Yes. :shrug: to the rest.

No - really? You mean the “three laws of French warfare” aren’t for real???

Going to war *without *France is like going deer hunting without an accordion.

That’s really good. Of course, like most humor, the essay is based on a good measure of truth. And there is no question that France was well on its way to loosing the Hundred Years War until St. Joan came along. Half the country was already occupied (including Paris and Rheims), and Orleans (the most significant city still under French control, and an important stronghold for protecting inner France) was under siege with no apparent hope for victory.

BTW, “History of French Warfare” was created by Albino Blacksheep, the same guys that engineered the highly successful Google Bomb back in 2003 (and still going strong) - this was one of the most successful Google Bombs of all time. If you haven’t seen it, type “French Military Victories” into Google and hit the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.

Shakespeare probably didn’t think about that or even care. He was a Protestant. Some scholars suggest he was a secret Catholic but there is no real evidence to support such a claim.

That website is the stupidest thing I’ve ever read.

The Gauls weren’t French. There was no such thing as “the French” in a national sort of sense until St. Louis IX, who centralized authority in France. Even speaking in an abstract sense, modern day French are derived from the Franks, which was a Germanic tribe that conquered geographical “France” during the fall of the Roman Empire.

The Hundred Years’ War was a resounding success for France. England started off the war with Gascony, and ended with only Calais, which was indefensible and lost in the 16th century.

The Italian Wars were mostly a defeat for France, this is true, but they did win the War of the League of Cambrai, which was when Spain and Germany (their enemies in the war) were at the height of their power.

The Thirty Years’ War was also an incredible victory for France. They defeated the Spanish at the Battle of Rocroi, and previously the Spanish Tercios had been undefeated for 100 years. Although the war continued with Spain after the Peace of Westphalia, France ended up annexing French Flanders and Rousillon. Just to make sure this is clear: France defeated the most powerful country in the world, while experiencing a civil war at the same time (the Fronde).

The Franco-Dutch and War of Devolution (the site misnames this as the “War of Revolution”) were both French victories. France benefited from both of these wars, moreso than their allies.

The War of the League of Augsburg/Nine Years’ War was indeed a tie, but it was France alone versus England, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands and Savoy.

The War of Spanish Succession was a French success. Although they had to make some concessions in return, Louis XIV successfully placed a member of the House of Bourbon on the Spanish throne. In previous wars, France was isolated, and still unable to be defeated; and now, they had an ally in Spain – who while in decline, still had a powerful navy and lots of resources from their colonies.

Americans did more fighting in the American Revolution, but they had no navy to speak of. France fought all of the critically important naval battles, such as the Battle of the Chesapeake, which is what prevented reinforcements at Yorktown.

The enemies of the French Revolution were not just “other French.” They were at war with Piedmont-Sardinia, Austria, Britain, Prussia, Portugal and Spain. And France won! France didn’t lose a single war from 1793 until 1814, which was when Napoleon’s invasion of Russia ended in catastrophe.

For World War I, this site says France was “on its way to losing.” Absolutely not. Germany had almost no chance of victory after the Battle of the Marne. U.S. entry in the war sped up victory, certainly, and forced harsher peace terms on Germany, but France and Britain could’ve won it alone.

It’s the bits in between that are of interest (and on-topic) for this thread.

There was, of course, really no such thing as a “Hundred Years War” - this is a title that later historians gave to a series of related conflicts.

In the Edwardian War (1337-1360), France got its head handed to it on a platter by Edward III of England and his 16-year old son (the French stubbornly relying on heavy mounted knights against English longbowmen, who picked them off at distance like ducks in a pond).

The Caroline War (~1369-1389) was provoked by Charles V of France, who managed quite well, but died, and his successor, Charles VI, did rather poorly, giving back many of the gains of his father (pitted against Richard II of England, grandson of Edward III, who was nearly two years older than Charles VI). This war would have been considered a draw, except the French actually won a significant naval battle against England at the Battle of La Rochelle (France had a navy? Who knew??? But, of course, Spain helped - a lot.)

The Lancastrian War was a complete butt-whupping for France, particularly at the Battle of Agincourt (again, the heavy French mounted knights were completely mowed down by stubby English archers - many French knights wounded in the battle drowned in the mud of the horse-trampled battlefield, weighed down by their heavy armor). England was poised to completely defeat and dominate all of France (having already conquered and occupied half the nation on two major fronts). Orleans was under siege, with only small city garrison standing against a far larger hostile force. I have read many historic accounts of this situation, and I have never read a modern historian who would would claim that France could have withstood a defeat at Orleans. All of the historians that I have read have been unanimous in belief that a defeat at Orleans would have meant the total and complete annihilation of France.

Then, along came Joan of Arc, and all bets were off. She lifted the siege in, um, nine days, reversing about 50 years of nothing but French defeats.

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