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Character Analysis: Joan Of Arc

Decent Essays
When things or people are different from mainstream expectations, they are “the Other” because they do not conform in ways that are conventional. The texts Jeanne D’Arc, Maid of Orleans: Deliverer Of France and Joan’s Letter to the English, Poitiers, 22 March 1429, revealed a Joan of Arc that was gender fluid in language, behavior, and appearance, as well as one who engaged in divine transgressive sexuality. However, although Christine de Pisan, in her “Ditié De Johanne de Arc,” tried to normalize the Maid, she was Othered to the point that her society had to exorcise her from the body politic.
In a strictly genital society like medieval France, Joan of Arc was biologically female, and identified as so in language and titles. For instance,
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There are many moments throughout the Ditié De Johanne de Arc that presented Joan of Arc’s bravery within the context of war. “And her enemies go fleeing before her, not one of them can stand up to her” (Pisan XXXV). Through several descriptions of battles, Joan of Arc was able to display her strength through her capability to fight. She had even displayed extreme strength in comparison to various men (Pisan XXV). This comparison of her strength in relation to males displayed her power as aligned with those of men, and this further represented her identification as male through this capability of being compared to men. Her power in warfare also transferred over to her ability to make threats and demands to other powerful men, something a female would not have been able to do in this time. In Joan’s letter to the English, Poitiers, 22 March 1429, she made threats of violence against the King of England and his people if they did not depart from France (Joan of Arc 182). “…I am [general] in this war and I assure you that wherever I find your people in France I shall fight them, and pursue them, and expel them from here…” (Joan of Arc 182). These behavioral traits surrounding strength and power traditionally existed with men during this time period. Joan of Arc’s presentation of both of these qualities displayed her male identification as a result of her exhibiting characteristics traditionally seen in males, although she was biologically a
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