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Psychiatric Evaluation And Diagnosis Of Joan Of Arc

2697 words - 11 pages

Section I: Introduction
Joan of Arc was born in 1412 in Domremy, France. She grew up in a home with devoutly religious parents, and she was greatly committed to the service of God at a young age. According to Pettinger (2007), At the age of 12, she began to have visions and hear the voices of saints and of God. She said the visions felt very real to her and during several of the visions, she felt the presence of saints and bright lights would appear (Pettinger, 2007).
During the early 1400s in France there was great conflict and the crown of France was in dispute. In 1428, Joan was being prompted by voices of saints that told her to join forces with Dauphin Charles of France, in order to fight for the crown of France. Barstow (1986) found that, She traveled to Vaucouleurs to ask for permission to join the Dauphin in order to help him drive the English out of France (Barstow, A.L., 1986). Joan believed that she was on a mission from God and her conviction inspired others to join her efforts in driving out English forces. After seeing Joan of Arc’s great passion and persistence the Dauphin provided several military men to help Joan in the battle against the Burgundians and the English (The Biography Channel, n.d.).
During her travels, Joan dressed like a man to disguise herself and to avoid getting caught by the enemy. According to Williamson (n.d.), If a woman’s identity were to be discovered, she faced the chance of getting raped. Joan also wore this clothing for its security and because she was surrounded by male soldiers, Joan felt she should wear the clothing for modesty’s sake. she promised the saints who spoke to her that she would keep her virginity and called herself “La Pucelle,” the maiden or virgin (Williamson, n.d.).
Even with such a small army, Joan of Arc was very successful in her battles. She was able to inspire and ignite her army because of her prophetic visions, this inspiration allowed Joan’s army to turn the tide of the war (Barstow, A.L., 1986). Within a year she was able to win several battles such as: victories at Orleans, Patay, and Troyes. Her remarkable passion and leadership also liberated many French towns from English control. Additionally, she was able to fulfill her perceived mission from God when Dauphin Charles was crowned as King Charles VII in July of 1429. Joan of Arc and her family were revered and she was looked up to by the French army (Pettinger, 2007).
However, the winning streak was eventually ended when she was captured by the Burgundians at Compiegne and was sold to the English (Barstow, A.L., 1986). With all of her success, Joan was portrayed as becoming too powerful. The History Channel (n.d.) stated, “Joan of Arc was faced more than 50 charges against her including witchcraft, heresy, and dressing like a man” (The History Channel, n.d.). In addition to these charges, Joan of Arc was accused of hearsay for the voices that she had claimed to hear. Hearsay was a capital crime when it occurred in...

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