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MonkeyNotes-Henry VI, Part 1 by William Shakespeare

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Act III, Scene III

Summary

The French noblemen appeal to Joan to devise a way to turn
the tables on their English foe. She says that this can be done if
they can convince Burgundy to leave the English and join their
side. She eloquently appeals to the patriotism of the French
born Burgundy and convinces him to support the French.

Notes

The loss of Rouen has hit the French hand and the scene starts
with the pragmatic Joan advising the French noblemen that
Talbotís victory is temporary. Totally dispirited by their defeat
and at a loss about what to do they turn en masse to Joan. They
use blatant flattery to try and coax her to come up with a
winning scheme.

Her scheme of winning Burgundy over to their side does not
seem realistic to the three Frenchmen. But Joan is not daunted
and uses her eloquence to appeal to Burgundyís patriotism. She
convinces him that the English would never do him justice if
they gain total control of France. Burgundy is like clay in her
hands and joins hands with the French.

Although Joan is shown in a grotesquely unfavorable light in
most of the play, occasionally there are moments of greater
depth. This is clear in the eloquent tone of the lament, which
she utters over her countryís ruin. Her eloquence is strongly
flavored by idealism, her mind is never dimmed by mere
emotions, not matter how elevated. This is revealed in her
words, said in an aside, "Done like a Frenchman: turn and turn
again." Unlike the other Frenchmen she is not swept away by
emotion when Burgundy agrees to support them. Her mind is
crystal clear, and she is slightly contemptuous of her fellow
Frenchmen is desertion of the English. Even though she is
committed to the cause of Franceís victory she is not blind to
the flaws of her fellow countrymen. She is a realist; she does
what she has to do to win but doesnít glorify herself, France or
the French.

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MonkeyNotes-Henry VI, Part 1 by William Shakespeare
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