Pope Joan Top Girls - Pupil Presentation on the character and links with Much Ado About Nothing


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Pupil Presentation on the character and links with Much Ado About Nothing. Preparation for WJEC A Level Lang/Lit A2 coursework

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Pope Joan Top Girls - Pupil Presentation on the character and links with Much Ado About Nothing

  1. 1. Pope Joan By Katie Bishop & Jodie Jenkins
  2. 2. About Pope Joan Pope Joan is a Medieval religious leader believed by some to have been a female pontiff who reigned over the Roman Catholic Church, who dismisses her as a myth. She supposedly fell in love with a monk and went with him to Athens disguised as a fellow monk. Allegedly, she claimed the name John Anglicus, and she later moved to Rome. She was said to be a talented scribe who worked as a papal notary and rose up the ranks with the Vatican. She then became a Cardinal (a prince of the church that honoured the Pope). She eventually became the Pope around the mid 800’s. It is believed her identity was exposed when she gave birth to a child. This led to her immediate execution.
  3. 3. • Pope Joan makes her appearance in Act 1, Scene 1 and she was the fourth guest to arrive at Marlene’s dinner party. • Pope Joan appears somewhat reserved and remote. However, she does make relevant and intellectual declarations throughout the conversation with the other dinner party guests. • When the topic turns to religion, she cannot help but point out heresies, stating her views and opinions on the subject. However, she does not attempt to convert the other dinner guests to her religion. • When revealing some of her life, she states that she began dressing as a boy at age twelve so she could continue to study. She lived the rest of her life as a man but continued to have male lovers. Joan was eventually elected pope as everyone believed she was actually male. • She became pregnant by her chamberlain lover and delivered her baby during a papal procession. As a result of this, Joan was stoned to death. • At the end of the scene, Joan recites a passage in Latin. Like all the dinner guests, Joan's life and attitude reflects something about Marlene. Joan reflects aspects of Marlene's life style.
  4. 4. Key quotations from Top Girls Act 1 • ‘I dressed as a boy when I left home’ • ‘… women weren’t / allowed in the library’ • ‘First I decided to stay a man’, ‘… I wanted to devote my life to learning’ • ‘I was poor…’ • ‘I shouldn’t have been a woman’
  5. 5. Throughout Act 1 Joan reveals her past, evidenced by the key quotations on the previous slide. Joan having to disguise herself as a man shows the limited opportunities woman had in history. ‘women weren’t / allowed in the library’ implying the restrictions women faced in those days and showing men were still inferior and had all the power and opportunities in life.
  6. 6. Links to Much Ado About Nothing In Much Ado About Nothing women are limited in what they are allowed to do and their lives are controlled by men. Due to the authority of men Pope Joan disguised herself as a man to continue her education and to pursue her career.