Joan of Arc Compared To Socrates
Joanof Arc Compared To Socrates
JoanOf Arc Compared To Socrates
Inthe same likeness that Joan of Arc was brought to trial fordissension, Socrates was persecuted being a nonbeliever of the stategods. Throughout their trials, each of them displays a strongpersonality, backed up by carefully selected words that only managesto anger their persecutors and leave their followers in awe. BothJoan of Arc and Socrates maintained their firm belief in one trueGod. Even at the face of death, they stayed true to theirconvictions. Their devotion without falter for their cause helpedthem expand new parts while defending their beliefs, and in the end,history views both of them as great martyrs.Rightto the end, both of them fought for their beliefs without wavering toaccommodate those with different views.
SimilaritiesAnd Differences Between Personalities
Popularlyknown as the Maid of Orleans, Joan of Arc was born in 1412. Duringthe primary inquiry, her characters and habits were supposed to bethe fundamental source of proof about Joan ‘vile personality.’ Inthe same manner, Socrates who was born to work and be credited as oneof the greatest founders of Western philosophy underwent trial forhis disagreeable personality i.e. failure to recognize the gods thatthe state recognized. Joan of Arc personality did not allow Joan toacknowledge the beliefs and power of the English church as stated byBishop Pierre Cauchon[ CITATION Per90 l 1033 ],an unwaveringfollower of the English. In a similar likeness, Socrates was also notapologetic for the way that his belief was deeply rooted inphilosophy instead of the gods.
Socratesand Joan of Arc have similar personalities as they subscribe to thebelief that there is only one true God. Joan of Arc stated that “Iwas in my thirteenth year when I heard a voice from God to help megovern my conduct. And the first time I was very much afraid”[ CITATION Per90 l 1033 ].Their monotheism is deeply rooted within each of them such thathistory absolves them as martyrs. Joan understands that there is onetrue God who is fair and just. According to Joan’s doctrine, herfair and just God did not create her fellow countrymen to becomeservants and doormats for the English. According to Socrates belief,there is one true God who blessed Athens by giving them a gift ofSocrates. Therefore, his persecutors are lost in their ignorance anddisbelief in his God.
BothSocrates and Joan have enduring personalities. Having receivedinstructions from a divine voice (Socrates, a prophecy by the oracleat Delphi Joan, voices from the Saints), neither of them is afraidto respond to what they believe is their true calling and use it toserve their countries. Socrates unapologetically defends himselfaverse to accusations of being “a doer of evil who corrupts theyouth”[ CITATION Pla03 l 1033 ].Joan unapologetically defends her actions against the charges ofdisrupting the ‘plans of God’ to have the English oppress theFrench.
SimilaritiesAnd Differences Between Actions
Astriking resemblance between their actions lies behind their beliefs.Although a scholar and philosopher, Socrates was a full-time believerof a greater existence. He believed in religion and that there weregods who were far above those of the state. With regards to Joan ofArc, she risked her life to rally the French army and boost theirmoral because she believed she was acting in line with God.Therefore, even though they each responded differently (given thattheir cases and circumstances were different), they held close towhat they believed in even to the end.
Althoughborn a peasant, Joan was made a French commander, a force to bereckoned. Following what Joan revealed to be a divine command, shemanaged to turn around the course of the Hundred Years’ War. Joan’sactions made her who she was. Rather, she became a commander throughher action not by circumstance. Later at trial, Joan revealed thather actions were directed and given by a divine voice from as earlyas age 12. By contrast, Socrates was well off and known for hisworks. When it comes to his name, he was and still is recognized as afounding figure in modern philosophy. However, in as far as beingpatriotic goes, he only had a brief participation in the war. UnlikeJoan, Socrates works can be divined to be self-serving. He came upwith the Socratic Method, a philosophy aimed towards arriving at thetruth. During the trial, he seeks to question Meletus. Instead ofusing his philosophical approach to prove the power of his works,Socrates went for the jugular, choosing to embarrass Meletus.
Inhis actions, Socrates was the polar opposite of Joan. In TheApology, oneof Socrates famous passages as his monolog whereby he likens himselfto a gadfly that stings the Athenian state, which Socrates comparesto the lazy horse. In his words, Socrates let it known to the courtthat without him, Athens was most likely to fall into a deep slumber“ I am the Gadfly in which God has attached to the state, and allday long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing andpersuading and reproaching you”[ CITATION Pla03 l 1033 ].According to Socrates, he had great influence which was a necessitytowards productivity and virtuous action for Athens. That is why hewas a constant inquisitive and annoying everyone by asking morequestions. However, when it comes to Joan, she understood that shewas a vessel to be used towards a greater purpose i.e. to liberatethe French from the English. At no instance did she declare herself apivotal point in the French-English War.
Joanfirmly stuck to her belief that she was meant to follow instructionsas she received them from a divine voice. With regards to turningaround the war in France, she never at any point took credit for heractions. Therefore, the main difference in their actions is thatSocrates as more concerned about finding himself “to find yourself,think for yourself,”[ CITATION Pla03 l 1033 ]while Joan was more concerned about serving the divine voice.
Duringthe 13thsession, Joan was denied of any of her request to attend Mass. Thereasons were given by her interrogators harbored around the fact thatshe was wearing an army uniform regarded as men’s clothing. Joan’sresponse was clear and the opposite of egotistic as displayed bySocrates “And what do you say if I`ve promised our king and swornnot to remove these clothes? Nonetheless, I say, make me a long robethat touches the ground, with no train and give it to me for Mass.Then when I come back I`ll put back on these clothes I`m wearing”[CITATION Per90 l 1033 ].
SimilaritiesAnd Differences Of Their Trials
Inthe Apology,Socrates speaks in a conversational manner. He mentioned andmaintained throughout the trial how he had no idea of how the lawfunctions. Socrates explained that he had never had a running withthe law and thus, had no experience with the law courts. Based onthis declaration, Socrates addressed the court of law from hisphilosophical viewpoint, speaking honestly and directly “Ido believe that there are gods, and in a far higher sense than thatin which any of my accusers believe in them”[ CITATION Pla03 l 1033 ].
Joanof Arc is also a simple peasant girl. Although unlike Socrates whohad the academic background, she had never seen a day in school. WhenJoan was arrested and turned in by the Burgundians to the English fora sum of 10,000 livres, she was set for a lengthy and exhaustingtrial. Just like Socrates, Joan of Arc had never stood trial before.Since this was Joan’s first appearance before the court of lawfacing serious charges, she had no option but to resort to her simplemanner of understanding and doing things. “Concerning my father andmy mother, and what I have done since I took the road to France, Iwill gladly swear, to tell the truth. But concerning my revelationsfrom God, these I have never told or revealed to anyone, save only toCharles, my King. And I will not reveal them to save my head”[CITATION Per90 l 1033 ].
Joanof Arc trial was unfair in the sense that her verdict had alreadybeen decided before even her arrest. Additionally, she was not giventhe option to get legal representation. Although Joan’s trial wasoverseen by Cauchon, who was a Bishop, he supported the English, andhis only end goal was to get rid of the peasant girl who stood in theway of the English. During her trial, Joan was asked questions aroundher religious upbringing, the nature of her name, as well as herparents and godparents. In Joan’s response, she mentioned that sheknew how to pray the Lord’sPrayer (PaterNoster), the HailMarry (AveMaria), as well as the ApostlesCreed (Credo)[ CITATION Per90 l 1033 ].To this response, Cauchon ordered Joan to recite the Lord’sPrayer. Withher simplistic mind, Joan indicated that she was ready to do so inexchange of being heard in a confession.
Evenwith the notable differences in their education, both Socrates andJoan of Arc displayed admirable qualities during their trials. Joanof Arc indicated a sense of maturity beyond her young age andwittiness that baffled theologians present at her trial. During herthird court session, she was presented with the question “do youknow whether or not you are in God’s grace?”[CITATION Per90 l 1033 ].To which Joan answered “if I am not, may God put me there and if Iam, may God so keep me. I should be the saddest creature in the worldif I knew I were not in His grace”[CITATION Per90 l 1033 ].This was a question asked by seasoned theologians. In the churchdoctrine, no one possesses clear understanding with regards to theirpresence before the Lord. However, giving a simple no as a responsemeant that she was admitting to being a sinner. Thus, admitting tobeing guilty.
DuringSocrates trial, he remained genuine and steadfast to his belief,gaining favor in the sight of the youth and angering those who werepersecuting him. As part of his defense statement, Socrates remindedthe court that he is not apologetic for his actions. Socratessupported the latter by explaining that his works were valid and anecessity following the oracle at Delphi’s prophecy. The oracle haddeclared Socrates as the wisest man not only in Athens. Even backedup by the prophecy, Socrates admitted that he was ignorant in mostworldly affairs. By this admission, he pointed out his wisdom sayingthat he was wiser than other men by simply being aware of the factthat he knew nothing.
Atthis point, Socrates trial took an interesting point in the historyof trials as he proposed that it was his duty to question theso-called ‘wise men’ in a bid to expose their wisdom asignorance. Therefore, Socrates makes it known during the trial that“the only true wisdom, is in knowing you know nothing”[ CITATION Pla03 l 1033 ].From such statements, it is evident that both Joan of Arc andSocrates were special people who were misunderstood by those aroundthem, most especially their persecutors.
Basedon their traits, actions, and trials, it is fair to argue that bothSocrates and Joan were quite alike. They were both wise, fearless,and energetic individuals who did what they believed was right fortheir cause. They displaced a commitment to their beliefs withoutbetraying their doctrines, willing to lose their lives to stay trueto their beliefs. Supported by quotations from their trials, it isevident that both Joan and Socrates were rigorous speakers and theirsense of self-belief and strength. Such traits annoyed the clergymen,politicians, and kings around them. Socrates gained much admirationfrom the youth of Athens becoming a respected teacher to hisstudents. Joan boosted the morale of the French army through herboldness and fearlessness as a female leader born as a mere peasant.
Pernoud, R. (1969). Joan of Arc: By Herself and Her Witnesses. Lanham, New York and London: Scarborough House.
Plato. (2003). The Last Days of Socrates (Penguin Classics). (H. Tarrant, Ed., & H. Tredennick, Trans.) Penguin Classics.
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