Isabel Balza
Universidad de Jaén


This paper discusses Joan of Arc’s figure as a hero. In order to do that, we examine the judicial proceedings that led to her sentence to death. We intend to define whether gender determined the way she embodied heroism. We argue her travestism was one of the main causes to her condemnation, because of the transgression it meant against both the Church rules and the stern regulations based on gender binarism. Joan of Arc occupies a symbolic and social place of exception, as there was not at the historic time a conceptual space simbolizing a male position for women. María Zambrano’s analyses on Antigona are followed to show Joan of Arc’s position within the lineage of “dead maids”. Finally, we suggest Joan of Arc expresses an ethics of piety from that place of exception in citizenship.

Keywords: Joan of Arc, hero, transgender, sorceress, ethics of piety.