|Joan of arc, a beautiful young woman who led France to freedom has now become one of the greatest warriors in European history. Joan of arc was a very important warrior for the French. Not only did she help France get freedom but she also made some mistakes that cost her her life. Joan of arc was the greatest female warrior in history, because despite many obstacles, Joan accomplished many things that not even grown men could do. Like leading armies, surviving trials and most importantly she did this being a woman
As a child Joan of arc didn’t have much of a bright future coming near because she was the daughter of two peasants which meant that she was going to be one too. As stated by Yvonne Lanhers, the author of the EBSCO web article Joan of arc, the saint. Joan of arc started having visions at the age of 13 in which she claims she saw Saint Michael, Saint Catherine, and Saint Margaret, all crucial French saints. Little did she know that hearing those voices was really going to help her in her life later. It is said that Joan of arc was born in January 6th 1412 in Domremy, a small town in between the French anglo-burgundian borders and the French borders that belonged to the dauphin.
At the time when Joan of arc wanted to be in the military, the people of France were still deciding of who was going to be the next king. Most people were sure that it was going to be Henry VI who was the heir to the throne. However there was someone else who was in the spot of the throne, Dauphin Charles, also known as Charles of the Dauphin. Nobody was sure about who was going to be the king of France, so Joan of arc had to present herself to both. At first people thought it was offensive that a woman could be in the army, because in those times women weren’t allowed to do much except for having babies and taking care of the kitchen. They wouldn’t take a woman into the army especially if she was Joan’s age, 16. As found in the EBSCO article written by Malcolm G.A vale
In their report the churchmen suggested that in view of the desperate situations of Orleans which had been under the English siege for months, the dauphin would be well advised to make use of her.
Even though Joan was a young woman who shouldn’t have any force and power at all, had a lot of talent in the battlefield the visions that she had were extremely important because they advised her about doing her next move in battle. She quickly became important and popular amongst the French army, and soon began to have body guards (men-at-arms). Commander La hire was enforced to travel with her at all times to keep her safe while she traveled. Another soldier who had a very important place in Joan’s security was Duc d’ Alencon which was one of Joan’s best friends and also a good knight in the battlefield.
Joan of arc was very talented in both a spiritual and in a physical way. Like I mentioned before, the visions in Joan’s life were really going to help her later, it is still a mystery on how Joan had those visions. The visions actually helped her a lot because by communicating with God, or so she claimed, she could plan many successful strategies. Joan of arc was a very religious Christian, so religious that she actually showed her religion at war. She had her standard painted with an image of Christ in judgment and a banner made bearing the name of Jesus (EBSCO search, author unknown)
The battle at Orleans was Joan of arc’s time to shine. With that war being her first one she didn’t have many fighting experience or so they thought. Orleans was surrounded by the English which outnumbered the French. There was no possible way of winning that battle and if it was so they would’ve had to retreat. On the evening of May 4 when Joan was resting, she suddenly sprang up, apparently inspired, and announced that she must go and attack the English (Yvonne Lanhers, EBSCO search) That day the French took the fort victoriously, however Joan of arc was severely wounded but she quickly healed. By the acts of her effort Joan of arc was very important in the event of coronation of Dauphin Charles who became the king of France. Joan had severe ambition to conquer Paris, she said that it would be crucial to take the fort. So she assembled an army and headed to Paris. But before the war started king Charles ordered the troops to retreat because it would be a sure defeat.
As Joan was returning to her homeland with her men-at-arms and Alencon, she got ambushed by the burgundians. Her troops held off as longs as they could but Joan of arc was unhorsed and she couldn’t remount so in result she had to hand herself in. Charles, who was working toward a truce with the duke of burgundy, made no attempts to save her (Malcolm G.A. Vale EBSCO search) There were a lot of doubts on why didn’t Charles attempt to save Joan of arc since she was a very important part of his coronation. As a result Joan of arc was captured by the burgundians and was later sold to the English. In between the negotiations, Joan of arc was locked up in prison, she was interrogated multiple times and was submitted to many trials but she still didn’t say a word of information to the English. It had been 4 months now of being locked in prison and Joan had begun to turn into madness. She tried to attempt suicide by jumping of the tower in which she was locked in but she survived. After that she became very ill, and the priests had to take care of her.
The negotiations between the French and the English didn’t work and as a result of that, Joan was kept in prison. Keeping her in prison was costly due to the amount of guards that had to be around her cell. So the king started this “rumor” he claimed and charged Joan of arc with witchcraft a crime that was punishable with death. He said that the only way that she could have such talent at war was that she was a witch. Many old women who were wise of were too powerful were accused of witchcraft. Joan of arc is a famous example of a woman who achieved a great deal but was then burned as a witch for her trouble (Author unknown) Joan of arc was burned alive in May 30th 1431 in the plaza of Rouen.
It was sure that Joan of arc died a Christian. Joan was canonized by Pope Benedict XV on May 16 1920; her feast day is May 30 (Yvonne Lanhers EBSCO search) Joan has some places in her honor; she had a very important place in the French palace because she was very important in the coronation of King Charles. French churches pray to her as she is one of the saints. The plaza of Rouen is also a place in her honor since she was executed there.
In conclusion, the French history has many interesting things to learn about and certainly Joan of arc is one of the most interesting ones. There are still many unsolved mysteries behind her story and many other things that the world may never know. This topic really helped me to further understand the Middle Ages.