lareinenoire: (Elizabeth)
Day #6: Your favourite villainess female villain

[livejournal.com profile] angevin2 made a great post on the general awesome that is Joan la Pucelle, and at the risk of basically repeating everything she said, I would pretty much agree with her assessment. :) Although I don't like Joan as much as Margaret, I don't necessarily believe Margaret is a villain. What seems to set Joan apart from everybody else is that she is always taking on significations that are diametrically opposed to what the audience is meant to see as Good. Whether it is her foreignness, or that she's female, or that she wears armour and kills people, or that she's completely suborned the Dauphin, or that she summons demons in her spare time, everything about Joan is meant to imply that she overturns the Natural Order of Things.

(Of course, this is fascinating when you put Joan next to Elizabeth I, but Shakespeare does seem to go out of his way to point out that YES, BUT SHE IS FRENCH, LA LA LA, CAN'T HEAR YOU.)

It's a simplistic designation, but there's nothing in the play that even hints otherwise. That being said, the RSC actually succeeded in making her final scenes incredibly harrowing, so this is clearly something that can be manipulated in the context of performance.

What I like about Joan, though, is that she's very conscious of the role she is playing -- much like Richard later on -- and she plays it to the hilt. And her scenes are just so much fun. Really. The Monty Python Taunting Frenchmen jokes just write themselves.

All that being said, Tamora from Titus Andronicus is a very close second.


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lareinenoire

October 2010

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