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The Legacy of Joan of Arc

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Words: 1244 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Nov 22, 2018

Words: 1244|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Nov 22, 2018

Joan of Arc was many things: a peasant, warrior, leader, saint, and martyr. She heard voices in her head and attributed them to the words of saints, specifically St. Catherine, St. Margaret, and St. Michael. The two female saints were killed for their refusal to marry non-Christian men while St. Michael supposedly led heaven’s forces against Satan. Joan received guidance from these heavenly voices and was urged to live a pious life.

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Most importantly, she was told fight for both her country and her God; to take back the land stolen from France. She traveled across the country and regularly interacted with both nobles and villagers, gaining respect and followers. From Joan’s childhood and interactions to her impact, as an adult, on society in the Middle Ages, her life was extraordinary. Her life was chock-full of riveting events and her endeavors have influenced art from back when she was alive all the way to modern day media. It’s a surprise indeed how Joan started out as a simple peasant girl and managed to, by the end of her short life, fight for her country, secure its villages, and build an overwhelmingly supportive fan base.

Joan was born to a Catholic farming family. She spent a lot of time doing manual labor such as plowing the fields and tending the sheep; because of this, she was fairly strong for a woman of the times. While she did a lot of “man’s work”, she apparently excelled in a fair share of more feminine skills like sewing and spinning thread. She was well liked, worked hard, and got along with her peers. She was also very religious, a devout Catholic. Sometimes she was teased by other kids for her devotion to religion, which she prioritized over fun and games. Even back then, it was rare to find anyone as faithful as Joan was. Her dedication gave her motivation to overcome great challenges and left a wonderful impression on every person she met.

Joan’s fighting spirit, reinforced by the encouragement of the saints, pushed her and her troops to battle in the manner that helped them recover French land from English rule. When she was burned at the stake, even her captors wept for her and for hundreds of years after, people looked back at her life as inspiration and motivation through hard times and as a basis on how to treat problems in religion, politics, and everyday life. Many were captivated by her uniqueness, giving them cause to spread her story and discuss her life long after her death.

A way she greatly influenced the people of her age was by proving that women could stand equal to men in both household and military duties. She also showed that even a peasant could be in a position to speak frankly with a king by sternly and publicly requesting troops from the king-to-be, Charles V. Actions such as her disputes with the king portrayed that Joan of Arc was a very interesting girl and woman, and many events in her life add to that image.

The natures of these events were diverse, but were always tied to Joan’s resilience, whether it be physical or mental. In the cases of physical strength, some shocking examples are the various times she was injured in battle, and the way she shrugged off the pain with prayer. In one of her first battles, she was hit by an arrow in her shoulder and, without grimacing the least bit, walked over to a tree, knelt in prayer, and returned to lead her men to victory. When it comes to endurance of pain, Joan’s public burning displays her amazing ability. As the flames enveloped her body, she simply stared at the crucifix held before her and repeated the name, “Jesus.”

In terms of mental resilience, her strength was evident as she fought to secure her freedom long before she fought on the front lines. When she was a young girl, Joan had been promised to a village man as a future bride. Once she was older, and the matter became more pressing, she outright refused the marriage, and a trial was held over the ordeal. Joan persevered and won back her rights to stay single. An interesting fact unrelated to her life or personality is that while we call the girl Joan of Arc, her name was actually Jeanne Darc. Originally her last name “Darc” was mistaken for “D’Arc,” which is French for “of Arc.” Later translation from French to English turned “Jeanne” into “Joan.”

The minutiaes of Joan’s life’s events vary greatly depending on who or what is telling them, but the common characteristic of all the iterations is the impact she had on peoples and their cultures. Joan has influenced not only popular media such as books, plays, and movies, but also the thinking of people. She showed that it was not only possible for a woman to rise in the ranks of society, but also for a mere peasant to command troops through influence alone. Joan gave others courage through her brave acts and refusal to conform to others’ ideals.

Joan of Arc, who devoted herself to the well-being of a country which would ignore her when she needed it most, has done more good as a farm-raised peasant than any noble did in the age she was born in. Actively protecting land, motivating townsfolk, and staying true to her beliefs; Joan worked hard with almost no rest through tough times.

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Though she started as a simple working girl with no connections to war or royalty, she finished as a saint and a savior. Joan of Arc will always be remembered and her story passed down through not only word of mouth, but modern media. She was truly an interesting person and even without a complicated life full of scandals and backstabbing, her story is captivating from beginning to end. While I may read about many more people, and time will pass, I will never forget about one of the greatest blessings France has ever been honored to receive: the simple, honest, and courageous Jeanne Darc.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

The Legacy of Joan of Arc. (2018, November 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 29, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/what-legacy-did-joan-of-arc-leave/
“The Legacy of Joan of Arc.” GradesFixer, 05 Nov. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/what-legacy-did-joan-of-arc-leave/
The Legacy of Joan of Arc. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/what-legacy-did-joan-of-arc-leave/> [Accessed 29 May 2024].
The Legacy of Joan of Arc [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Nov 05 [cited 2024 May 29]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/what-legacy-did-joan-of-arc-leave/
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