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The Crime At Compiegne Essay

817 words - 4 pages

Joan of Arc as relates to Dostoevsky's "extraordinary man theory"Proving herself to be a good deal more than ordinary, Jeanne d'Arc, the Maid of Orleans and patron saint of France, united her nation at a critical hour in history and decisively turned the Hundred Years' War in France's favor, forever ending England's dreams of hegemony over France. The crimes and eventual triumph of this most amazing young woman are better understood when applied to Dostoevsky's 'extraordinary man' theory.Dostoevsky's theory, as written in Crime and Punishment, claims that all of mankind is divided into two basic categories, the 'ordinary' and the 'extraordinary.' Where the 'ordinary' masses are 'by nature ...view middle of the document...

Jeanne again triumphed. In the eyes of the people the cowardly and lethargic Dauphin became the king of France and regained legitimacy and the loyalty of Frenchmen everywhere as a consequence of the ceremonies. Charles, still irresolute and hesitant, delayed and missed the moment for riding the psychological crest and driving the English from his land. Instead of acting, he vehemently opposed any further campaigns against the English. Therefore, it was without royal support that Jeanne conducted a military campaign against the English at Compiegne, near Paris where she was finally captured and convicted of the crime of answering to God before the king and the Roman Catholic Church. Jeanne directly disobeyed the king and was responsible for the murder of hundreds of Englishmen.Dostoevsky claims that as an 'extraordinary' woman, that this transgression was her duty, as was the shedding of the blood of 'ordinary' people. Dostoevsky goes on to say that 'most of the benefactors and founders of mankind were especially terrible blood-shedders,' and Jeanne's crime in no way diminishes her extraordinary nature. In fact, it only serves to further illustrate it. According to the theory, if Jeanne had not gone on to Compiegne and disobeyed the king, she would cease to be...

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