hi hi hi - today i had an excellent question regarding joan of arc as a protestant figure, as mentioned by shaw in his preface (i recommend reading this)!
[interlude: furthermore, the Epilogue is part of the play, not just an "aside" that you don't have to read... so read it! it's chalk-full of super important stuff, and is one of the main aspects for which shaw came under fire in his representation of joan].
anyway, back to it. i'll try to explain briefly how shaw sees joan as a protestant. but first, i'm going to need you to do some reading of your own. so here's the plan:
1. go to http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200811h.html -- you need to be connected to the sfu server to access this link. it's just the fulltext of shaw's preface and play.
2. search (under Edit > Find) for "protestant"; you'll find many instances of it. one of the earliest claims her to be both a "devout catholic" and a "protestant martyr," all in the same sentence.
as you continue to search for your key word, note how it's being used: to refer to the ideas embodied by protestantism, namely INDIVIDUALITY (taking out the middle man in connection with God). many catholics take issue with shaw's interpretation of joan of arc, claiming she couldn't be either protestant or nationalistic based solely on the historical timeline (when something is out of its timeline, it's said to be anachronistic). of course joan (and all of the characters, for that matter) wouldn't know about the results their actions evoke, such as a move away from a feudal system to one of nationalism, or even the emergence of protestantism (undermining the "need" for the church to provide a link to God). this is one of shaw's literary techniques -- giving his characters a healthy dose of foresight, as though they have the knowledge of all the social and political events that will unfold from each major action taken. this is, after all, why the english and french finally come to a compomise to end joan's rise to power.
that's all i can think of at the moment. if you have any questions or comments, don't be afraid to do it up on the blog, or else in tutorial, or else in my office hours, or else over email, etc etc.