How and why did Joan of Arc Rebel against the Law?

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It was a hard time in France, for the Hundred Year War was underway. The English were in control of much of France, until one 18 year old peasant girl came and led the French. How and why did this woman do this despite the laws and norms at the time? Joan of Arc was ordered to do so by three angels via her Clairaudience.

As a child, Miss d’Arc was in a very religious family. Joan of Arc was born in Domremy, France around January 6th in about 1412 as the youngest child of Jacques d’Arc, who was a tenant farmer, and her mother was a devout member of the Catholic Church. Because of her mother’s dedication to the church, Joan would often be brought there to learn several values on top of her lessons in spinning and sewing. See, because she was a woman in the time of the 100 Year War, women had to only be taught how to be a suitable wife, thus, peasant girls like Joan would learn how to spin, sew, and raise children by their mothers and sometimes the Catholic Church to encourage specific values. This was as far as Joan of Arc’s education would go: being a peasant, she was destined to be a fearful wife during the Hundred Year War. Due to the role of women back then, she would never learn to read or write. Today, her role is as a saint but back then, she didn’t really have a career, once again due to what was expected of her.

The reason Joan of Arc is seen as as a hero and a rebel today is because she dressed as a man and went into a war. “Joan was put on trial and charged with witchcraft, heresy, and dressing like a man, among other crimes.”(Joan of Arc), which was discovered after French allies of the English captured her. These laws and social norms were in place because back then because all women had to do was raise children. The fact that women had one job and everyone was incredibly religious contributed to the mere existence of the trial of Joan of Arc and why she’s considered a rebel today. The role of women in varies from culture to culture, but during the middle ages, women like Joan were expected to behave according to biblical teachings. Especially in peasant or middle class families, where women had several responsibilities, such as caring for livestock. This was the same for women who lived in towns (Bovey, A. 2015).

As a child, Joan was a pretty normal girl; going to church with her mother, helping her parents with tending to the livestock and house, and learning how to be a suitable wife. That is, until she turned thirteen around 1425, when she began to hear voices. Today, we assume this was due to either a form of ESP called Clairaudience or Schizophrenia, but back in Joan’s time, she assumed they were the voices of three saints: specifically Saint Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine. These saints told the young lady “she was to save France by ridding it of  English Control” (Joan of Arc). She was also ordered to reinstate Charles as the rightful king of France. In order to follow God’s will, she took a vow of chastity. However, she didn’t follow through until three years later, when her father arranged a marriage for her. Fortunately, Joan was able to convince the court that she shouldn’t be forced to accept who her father chose.

In spring of 1428, she traveled to a nearby stronghold that was loyal to Charles. Even though she was rejected by the local magistrate, Joan remained persistent; eventually, she attracted what was basically a small army who shared her beliefs. In time, the magistrate relented, and Joan chopped off her hair and dressed in men’s clothes. Afterwards, she made an 11 day journey to Chinon, where the crown prince’s palace was located. “Joan promised Charles she would see him crowned king at Reims, the traditional site of French royal investiture, and asked him to give her an army to lead to Orleans, then under siege from the English. Against the advice of most of his counselors and generals, Charles granted [Joan’s] request”(Joan of Arc, 2009). According to the same source, Joan won over Charles by revealing information only a messenger of God could know. When Joan received this army, they followed her because they believed she was the prophesized virgin that would save France.

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How and Why Did Joan of Arc Rebel Against the Law?. (2019, Jan 05). Retrieved from

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