JOAN LA PUCELLE

Henry VI, Part 1, Act 5, Scene 3, 22-50
Arden 3 | Edward Burns | London: Bloomsbury, 2000 | 259-261

“The regent conquers and the Frenchmen fly.”

Speech
Arden 3

JOAN
The regent conquers and the Frenchmen fly.
Now help, ye charming spells and periapts,
And ye, choice spirits that admonish me
And give me signs of future accidents. (Thunder.)           25
You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
Under the lordly monarch of the north,
Appear, and aid me in this enterprise.

Enter Fiends.

This speedy and quick appearance argues proof
Of your accustomed diligence to me.                                  30
Now, ye familiar spirits, that are culled
Out of the powerful regions under earth,
Help me this once, that France may get the field.

They walk, and speak not.

O hold me not with silence over-long:
Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,                    35
I’ll lop a member off and give it you
In earnest of a further benefit
So you do condescend to help me now.

They hang their heads.

No hope to have redress? My body shall
Pay recompense if you will grant my suit.                           40

They shake their heads.

Cannot my body nor blood sacrifice
Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
Then take my soul – my body, soul, and all –
Before that England give the French the foil. (They depart.)
See, they forsake me. Now the time is come                      45
That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest,
And let her head fall into England’s lap.
My ancient incantations are too weak,
And hell too strong for me to buckle with.
Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.                     50

(Exit.)
(Exeunt.)

Words and Pronunciation +
Arden 3

Words

regent: York (Burns)

periapts: written charms, inscribed on a bandage and wrapped around a part of the body which they were deemed to protect. Henslowe’s diary contains a formula, written in a hand other than Henslowe’s, for a periapt to grant wishes: ‘+ wryte these wordes in virgins parchement wth the blood of a batt vppon tewseday morning betwixt v or vj in the morning or at nighte. halia J K.turbutzi & tye yt abowt thy left arme and aske what ye will have’ (Henslowe, 40). (Burns); periapt: amulet, charm, talisman (SW)

choice: chosen, specially worthy, excellent (SW) picked, specially selected (SW); appropriate, fitting, well chosen (SW); abundance, profusion, great supply (SW); picked company, select band (SW)

admonish: inform, forewarn, notify (SW)

signs of future accidents: coded prophecies of events. The historical Jeanne at her trial was accused of witchcraft, and both Holinshed and Hall hint at a connection of Joan with magic, though their attitude seems basically sceptical. This moment in the play has disappointed critics by seeming to make too unambiguous an identification of Joan’s powers with the forces of darkness. See Introduction, pp. 33–6 (Burns)

accident: chance, fortune, fate (SW); occurrence, event, happening (SW)

substitutes: deputies (Burns); substitute: subordinate, deputy, underling (SW)

lordly monarch of the north: name for the devil derived from Isaiah, 14.13: Lucifer sets up his throne ‘upon the mount of the Congregacion in the sides of the North’. Nashe, Piers Penniless, gives a more detailed account of demonic ecology: ‘The second kind of Devils which he most imploieth, are those Northerne Marcij, called the spirits of revenge, & the authors of massacres, and seedesmen of mischiefe’ (Nashe, 1.230.19–21). The Rose playhouse was so oriented that those of the audience who faced the stage directly (in most performances probably the majority) faced north-north-west. This was presumably in order to make the most efficient use of available light, but it also suggests where Puzel’s devils might appear – ‘above’ and/or from the back of the platform. (Bunrs)

lordly:1. Of, relating to, or belonging to a lord or lords; consisting of or administered by lords. Now rare 2 c. Of a person: having the character, attributes, or appearance of a lord; noble, grand, illustrious. Also in extended use. 3. arrogant, haughty, imperious, disdainful (OED)

argues proof of: establishes (Burns)

argue: indicate, betoken, be evidence of (SW)

proof: evidence, demonstration, testimony (SW) tested strength, proven power of resistance, impenetrability (SW)

accustom(ed): custom, habit, routine (SW)

diligence: attentiveness, assiduity, careful service (SW)

familiar: friendly, congenial, welcoming (SW); attendant spirit, personal demon (SW); close friend, intimate associate (SW)

spirit: troublesome devil, high-spirited fiend (SW)

culled: chosen, picked, selected (SW)

powerful regions: Some editions have emended F’s ‘regions’ to ‘legions’ in reference to Mark, 5.9, ‘My name is Legion: for we are manie’, but the point is probably simpler; F’s regions refers to the infernal environs where the spirits dwell. See also 4.3.69n. (Burns)

region: rank, sphere, social standing (SW)

get the field: gain control of the battle (Burns); field: field of battle, battleground, field of combat (SW)

hold: to retard, to make lose time, to cause to linger (Schmidt)

wont: be accustomed to, used [to], be in the habit of (SW)

lop: chop (Burns); remove, eliminate, get rid of (SW)

in earnest of: as a token of (Burns)

earnest: pledge, installment, deposit, payment in advance (SW); guarantee, promise [small sum of money paid to secure a bargain] (SW)

so: if, provided that (Burns)

condescend: literally, ‘come down voluntarily’ (OED v. I); this may have some relevance to the placing of the demons on stage (28.1) but, more likely, reflects the Fiends’ awareness of their superior powers. (Burns); agree, consent, assent (SW)

redress: help (Burns); relief, assistance, help, comfort (SW); remedy, amendment, improvement (SW);

recompense: payment for services, reward (SW); repayment, return, compensation (SW)

suit: formal request, entreaty, petition (SW); wooing, courtship (SW)

blood sacrifice: Actresses, Janet Suzman in The Wars of the Roses, for example, have represented Joan cutting herself at this point, but the sacrifice she refers to could equally well be the death of her enemies. (Burns)

wonted furtherance: usual assistance (Burns); wonted: accustomed, usual, customary (SW); furtherance: aid, assistance, help (SW)

before that: before (or before it occurs that) (Leung)

foil: flaw, blemish, disgrace (SW); sword, rapier (SW)

vail: lower (Burns); lower, direct downwards (SW); let fall, yield, surrender (SW); lower, bow down, cast down [as in submission] (SW)

lofty: 1a. Extending to a great height in the air; of imposing altitude, towering. 2c. b. Exalted in dignity, rank, character, or quality. Of expectations, aims, desires: Directed to high objects.OED)

plumed: feathered (Leung)

crest: [originally the plume of feathers on a] helmet, head-piece (SW)

head: maidenhead, virginity (Partridge, 119, 143)

fall: (Of a woman) to fall from virtue, or continence, into copulation or incontinence (Partridge, 103)

lap: Lap in the ordinary sense, but with an implied localization in the pudend (Partridge, 132)

ancient: This leaves it open whether her spells have an ancient provenance, and so link her into the classical tradition of witches such as Erichtho and Medea, or whether she simply means ‘usual’, ‘often-used’. See Introduction, pp. 33–9. (Burns)

buckle with: engage with (Burns); buckle: grapple, engage, fight at close quarters (SW); enclose, limit, circumscribe (SW)

Pronunciation +

periapt: (line 23) pair-ee-apt

plumed: (line 46) plumèd

Translation
No Fear Shakespeare

JOAN
York is vanquishing us and my countrymen retreat.
Come to my aid at once, you influential magic incantations and talismans,
And you, specially worthy demons that inform me
And give me coded prophesies of events to come, (Thunder.)           25
You swift advisors that are underlings
Of the high king of hell
Show yourselves and help me in this undertaking.

Enter Fiends.

Your swift and hasty arrival is evidence
Of your usual careful service to me.                                       30
Now, you accompanying fiends, who are pick
From the potent realms under this world
Aid me this one time so that my country may win this battle.

They walk, and speak not.

Ah, don’t keep me waiting with silence for too long:
Since I used to sustain you with my blood,                    35
I’ll chop off a limb and sacrifice it to you
As a guarantee for another help
If you consent to aid me this time.

They hang their heads.

No hope to have redress? My body shall
Pay recompense if you will grant my suit.                           40

They shake their heads.

Cannot my body nor blood sacrifice
Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
Then take my soul – my body, soul, and all –
Before that England give the French the foil. (They depart.)
See, they forsake me. Now the time is come                      45
That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest,
And let her head fall into England’s lap.
My ancient incantations are too weak,
And hell too strong for me to buckle with.
Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.                     50

(Exit.)
(Exeunt.)

Assonance
Arden 3

JOAN
The regent conquers and the Frenchmen fly.
Now help, ye charming spells and periapts,
And ye, choice spirits that admonish me
And give me signs of future accidents. (Thunder.)           25
You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
Under the lordly monarch of the north,
Appear, and aid me in this enterprise.

Enter Fiends.

This speedy and quick appearance argues proof
Of your accustomed diligence to me.                                  30
Now, ye familiar spirits, that are culled
Out of the powerful regions under earth,
Help me this once, that France may get the field.

They walk, and speak not.

O hold me not with silence over-long:
Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,                    35
I’ll lop a member off and give it you
In earnest of a further benefit
So you do condescend to help me now.

They hang their heads.

No hope to have redress? My body shall
Pay recompense if you will grant my suit.                           40

They shake their heads.

Cannot my body nor blood sacrifice
Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
Then take my soul – my body, soul, and all –
Before that England give the French the foil. (They depart.)
See, they forsake me. Now the time is come                      45
That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest,
And let her head fall into England’s lap.
My ancient incantations are too weak,
And hell too strong for me to buckle with.
Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.                     50

(Exit.)
(Exeunt.)

Alliteration
Arden 3 | 2012

JOAN
The regent conquers and the Frenchmen fly.
Now help, ye charming spells and periapts,
And ye, choice spirits that admonish me
And give me signs of future accidents. (Thunder.)           25
You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
Under the lordly monarch of the north,
Appear, and aid me in this enterprise.

Enter Fiends.

This speedy and quick appearance argues proof
Of your accustomed diligence to me.                                  30
Now, ye familiar spirits, that are culled
Out of the powerful regions under earth,
Help me this once, that France may get the field.

They walk, and speak not.

O hold me not with silence over-long:
Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,                    35
I’ll lop a member off and give it you
In earnest of a further benefit
So you do condescend to help me now.

They hang their heads.

No hope to have redress? My body shall
Pay recompense if you will grant my suit.                           40

They shake their heads.

Cannot my body nor blood sacrifice
Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
Then take my soul – my body, soul, and all –
Before that England give the French the foil. (They depart.)
See, they forsake me. Now the time is come                      45
That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest,
And let her head fall into England’s lap.
My ancient incantations are too weak,
And hell too strong for me to buckle with.
Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.                     50

(Exit.)
(Exeunt.)

Consonance
Arden 3 | 2012

JOAN
The regent conquers and the Frenchmen fly.
Now help, ye charming spells and periapts,
And ye, choice spirits that admonish me
And give me signs of future accidents. (Thunder.)           25
You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
Under the lordly monarch of the north,
Appear, and aid me in this enterprise.

Enter Fiends.

This speedy and quick appearance argues proof
Of your accustomed diligence to me.                                  30
Now, ye familiar spirits, that are culled
Out of the powerful regions under earth,
Help me this once, that France may get the field.

They walk, and speak not.

O hold me not with silence over-long:
Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,                    35
I’ll lop a member off and give it you
In earnest of a further benefit
So you do condescend to help me now.

They hang their heads.

No hope to have redress? My body shall
Pay recompense if you will grant my suit.                           40

They shake their heads.

Cannot my body nor blood sacrifice
Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
Then take my soul – my body, soul, and all –
Before that England give the French the foil. (They depart.)
See, they forsake me. Now the time is come                      45
That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest,
And let her head fall into England’s lap.
My ancient incantations are too weak,
And hell too strong for me to buckle with.
Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.                     50

(Exit.)
(Exeunt.)

Thoughts
Arden 3 | 2012

JOAN
1. The regent conquers and the Frenchmen fly.
2. Now help, ye charming spells and periapts,
And ye, choice spirits that admonish me
And give me signs of future accidents. (Thunder.)           25
3. You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
Under the lordly monarch of the north,
Appear, and aid me in this enterprise.

Enter Fiends.

4. This speedy and quick appearance argues proof
Of your accustomed diligence to me.                                  30
5. Now, ye familiar spirits, that are culled
Out of the powerful regions under earth,
Help me this once, that France may get the field.

They walk, and speak not.

6. O hold me not with silence over-long:
b. Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,                    35
I’ll lop a member off and give it you
In earnest of a further benefit
So you do condescend to help me now.

They hang their heads.

7. No hope to have redress? 8. My body shall
Pay recompense if you will grant my suit.                           40

They shake their heads.

9. Cannot my body nor blood sacrifice
Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
10. Then take my soul – my body, soul, and all –
Before that England give the French the foil. (They depart.)
11. See, they forsake me. 12. Now the time is come                      45
That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest,
And let her head fall into England’s lap.
13. My ancient incantations are too weak,
And hell too strong for me to buckle with.
14. Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.                     50

(Exit.)

THOUGHTS

Long: 1
Medium: 8
Short: 5
Complex: 1 (2)

End stopped: 12
Midline: 2

Period: 12
Exclamation: 0
Question: 2
Dash: 0

TOTAL: 14

Rhythm
Arden 3 | 2012

JOAN
The regent conquers and the Frenchmen fly.
Now help, ye charming spells and periapts,
And ye, choice spirits that admonish me
And give me signs of future accidents. (Thunder.)           25
You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
Under the lordly monarch of the north,
Appear, and aid me in this enterprise.

Enter Fiends.

This speedy and quick appearance argues proof
Of your accustomed diligence to me.                                  30
Now, ye familiar spirits, that are culled
Out of the powerful regions under earth,
Help me this once, that France may get the field.

They walk, and speak not.

O hold me not with silence over-long:
Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,                    35
I’ll lop a member off and give it you
In earnest of a further benefit
So you do condescend to help me now.

They hang their heads.

No hope to have redress? My body shall
Pay recompense if you will grant my suit.                           40

They shake their heads.

Cannot my body nor blood sacrifice
Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
Then take my soul – my body, soul, and all –
Before that England give the French the foil. (They depart.)
See, they forsake me. Now the time is come                      45
That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest,
And let her head fall into England’s lap.
My ancient incantations are too weak,
And hell too strong for me to buckle with.
Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.                     50

(Exit.)
(Exeunt.)

Pacing
Arden 3 | 2012

JOAN
The regent conquers and the Frenchmen fly.
Now help, ye charming spells and periapts,
And ye, choice spirits that admonish me
And give me signs of future accidents. (Thunder.)           25
You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
Under the lordly monarch of the north,
Appear, and aid me in this enterprise.

Enter Fiends.

This speedy and quick appearance argues proof
Of your accustomed diligence to me.                                  30
Now, ye familiar spirits, that are culled
Out of the powerful regions under earth,
Help me this once, that France may get the field.

They walk, and speak not.

O hold me not with silence over-long:
Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,                    35
I’ll lop a member off and give it you
In earnest of a further benefit
So you do condescend to help me now.

They hang their heads.

No hope to have redress? My body shall
Pay recompense if you will grant my suit.                           40

They shake their heads.

Cannot my body nor blood sacrifice
Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
Then take my soul – my body, soul, and all –
Before that England give the French the foil. (They depart.)
See, they forsake me. Now the time is come                      45
That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest,
And let her head fall into England’s lap.
My ancient incantations are too weak,
And hell too strong for me to buckle with.
Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.                     50

(Exit.)
(Exeunt.)

Beats
Arden 3 | 2012

 


JOAN
The regent conquers and the Frenchmen fly.


Now help, ye charming spells and periapts,
And ye, choice spirits that admonish me
And give me signs of future accidents. (Thunder.)           25
You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
Under the lordly monarch of the north,
Appear, and aid me in this enterprise.

Enter Fiends.


This speedy and quick appearance argues proof
Of your accustomed diligence to me.                                  30


Now, ye familiar spirits, that are culled
Out of the powerful regions under earth,
Help me this once, that France may get the field.

They walk, and speak not.


O hold me not with silence over-long:
Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,                    35
I’ll lop a member off and give it you
In earnest of a further benefit
So you do condescend to help me now.

They hang their heads.


No hope to have redress? My body shall
Pay recompense if you will grant my suit.                           40

They shake their heads.


Cannot my body nor blood sacrifice
Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
Then take my soul – my body, soul, and all –
Before that England give the French the foil. (They depart.)


See, they forsake me. Now the time is come                      45
That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest,
And let her head fall into England’s lap.
My ancient incantations are too weak,
And hell too strong for me to buckle with.
Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.                     50

(Exit.)

Pronunciation +

shamest: (line 23) Q2–3; sham’st Q4, F; not in Q1 (Weis)

Jesu: (line 29) jeez-yoo or jee-zoo; jayz-yoo or jay-zoo

you: (line 29) The more formal pronoun is used consistently by Nurse when addressing Juliet, while the 13-year-old uses the familiar thou, thee, thy to her servant, in conformity with the etiquette of the day in which social class overrides age. (Weis)

marry: (line 62) mah-ree (UK); meh-ree (US) (OED)

trow: (line 62) tr-ah-oo (UK); tr-oh (US) (OED)

hie: (line 68) hah-ee

wanton: (line 70) want-en or want-in

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