Complete summary of Jean Anouilh’s Becket. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Becket. Becket has ratings and 80 reviews. Karla said: Jenny said: *If you don’t want to read this long review (and I don’t blame you!), skip to the as. Jean Anouilh’s Becket; ou l’honneur de Dieu (Becket; or the Honor of God) tells the troubled story of the relationship between Thomas à Becket and Henry.

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He prides himself on doing what needs to be done well. Priest offers a selection of writings by the influential existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Perhaps there are shades of Sartre’s comment about waiters and authenticity in this tale of a detached outsider who becomes what he is made on the whim of a king and who is martyred to a meaning he chooses to honour for reasons th A classic of post-war French theatre which was much loved by English audiences and was made into a film with Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole in the principal roles in Her trust is betrayed when Becket gives her to Henry according to the terms of a bargain he made earlier to save the young Saxon girl.

Becket, based on play by Jean Anouilh and translated by Lucienne Hill Becket is a spectacular, effervescent, triumphant, delightful, ecstatic, masterful motion picture. The conflict and plot also play out naturally. He thinks that he and Henry can work this out, that Henry can accept the wind beating against his boat and let it knock the boat about sometimes.

In his very first speech the King, kneeling and waiting to be whipped, addresses the yet unseen Becket and speaks of his human dignity about to be crushed: Indeed, in his dealings with opponents the King can neither persuade nor force them to agree with him.


The themes of martyrdom and church-building as in Eliot’s earlier The Rock are used, and the sun-image becomes Fry’s equivalent for the wheel Louis Martz has singled out as Eliot’s presiding image. However, a little later, the woman that Becket loves is asked in return for the wild inhabitant of the forest favor.

Becket by Jean Anouilh

Becket intercepts him before he is able to do so. By taking on this role, Becket finds the honor that has so long eluded him. His plays were widely produced across Europe and the United States. Not surprisingly, given Anouilh’s apparent plan for the play, the playwright early on renders Becket as unmanly, bcket spite of his physical prowess. This website uses cookies to improve user experience. I did not think it would be you.

Becjet might wish to take it as read that he believes in God as represented by the Church or that the Church gives him a vehicle for dealing with hidden ethnic Saxon or personal the loss of Gwendolyn resentments but I am not sure it matters. And as for your youth — that dusty flower pressed jeam a hymnbook since you were twelve years old, with its watery blood and its insipid scent — you can say farewell to that without a tear. Is the Church very interested in holy men?

At best we can react with a faint, ironic smile at the vainness of his aspiration to rival and ultimately to become God.

I would have laughingly abandoned the honor of the kingdom for you. Originally published on my blog here in January In Aniuilh ofat the Great Council of Winchester, Henry demanded that clerics who committed crimes should be turned over to the royal courts for trial and punishment.


I’m going to watch the movie soon, so maybe after that I’ll get it.

Anouilh also uses the idea of the hero as an organizing device for the play. It’s worth reading more than once.

This does not absolve humans from the responsibility of choice. He is a collaborator with the conquering race, but not one of them.

Becket, or the Honor of God Summary & Study Guide

Becket in turn is confidant, chancellor, archbishop, enemy, and victim of the King, but he never surrenders his drive for order in the name of honor. As Matilda’s son, Henry has a legitimate claim on the throne of England, a throne that has been the subject of a bitter civil war between Matilda’s followers and King Stephen.

De Gaulle took charge, using extensive emergency powers granted to him by the electorate. But I cheated my way, a twofold bastard, into the ranks and found a place among the conquerors. Unrequited love has rendered Henry metaphorically impotent. It is through Becket’s choice to honor God, not God’s intervention in Becket’s life, that Becket finds meaning in his own life and death.

Becket, or the Honor of God Summary & Study Guide

The king is all too aware of Becket’s superior intelligence. Indeed, it is the relationship between the two men that has attracted most critical attention. View the Study Pack. Becket too is conscious of this aspect of his nature.

Do you love Gwendolen?