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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When the archbishop of Canterbury dies, Folliot is the likely successor; Henry’s appointment of Becket seals Folliot’s hatred of the man.

By taking on this role, Becket finds beckft honor that has so long eluded him.

Becket – Wikipedia

And seemingly to defend the honor of God, Becket says “no” to Henry. Anhalt won an Academy Award for his screenplay. It’s for pronging meat with and carrying it to your mouth.

It could be said that Eliot’s construction is focused and ritualistic, Fry’s is panoramic and historical, and Anouilh’s is musical and choreographic. The following are some other facts and becke I’m as limp and useless as a girl! He visited Canterbury and decided the Becket story would be a good vehicle.

It’s been wrongly believed that during the run Quinn and Olivier switched roles, with Quinn playing Becket to Olivier’s King. The main tension between Henry and Becket was that Becket was a clergyman, and his duty and desire were to strengthen the power of the Church, while Henry wanted to strengthen the power of the Crown.

Gwendolen is Becket’s mistress when the play opens. The king is all too aware of Becket’s superior intelligence. Not nature but human nature is chaotic, splitting the reason away from the emotions.

Whether it satisfies Becket or not, whether it washes God’s honor or not, this open submission to God’s justice does put the King back in the peoples’ good graces: They assume that the universe has a Ptolemaic form and pressure.


The bfcket see him as steersman, anvil to Henry’s hammer, the firm rock in a sea of political strife. Nov 26, Doris Jean rated it liked it Shelves: In the following essay, Roy analyzes the various approaches to martyrdom found in Anouilh’s Becket, T. He believed that by further elevating Becket to archbishop of Canterbury he would have Becket’s help in reforming the Catholic Church.

Anouilh conveniently suppresses this fact in his depiction of the relationship between Louis and Henry. So much of their imagery suggests both the unreality of what is perceived, along with the over-intensity of sensation and intuition. When Henry argues with the Archbishop about the right of the Court to request and obtain funds from the Church, it is the King’s friend who counsels his monarch to affirm his tyranny in no uncertain terms.

From this point on, he achieved growing success in theater.

Becket, or the Honor of God Summary & Study Guide

In the early acts uean the play, Becket is unemotional and detached. I do so wish I could help you. Though more accessible, Anouilh’s version of the story is probably less well known in English than Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral. Henry makes him promise a favor for a favor. Their thematic differences also extend into character. Inhomosexuality was not only in the closet, the closet doors were firmly shut, locked, and bolted.

Henry, in a particularly cruel act, chooses to redeem this promise by taking Becket’s mistress from him. Also, there is no indication that Becket joined Henry in whoring and other debauchery before he became Archbishop. Driver quizzed in the Nov. Indeed, Henry’s insecurities and his ongoing attempts to win Becket’s love nearly destroy him. In Becketsuspense is not an issue, since the historical circumstances of Becket’s murder are well known.

In the introduction to the play, Anouilh explained that he based it on a chapter of an old book he had bought because its green binding looked good on his shelves. What I find so fascinating about this story is how amazingly normal the friendship between the King and Becket is. Becket, or the Honor of God bec,et BookRags. Mostly keeping aloof from politics, Anouilh also clashed with de Gaulle in the s.


Henry guarantees Becket safe passage back to England.

Becket stoutly refused, maintaining that the trial and punishment of clerics falls under the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts. After the war, Anouilh turned to the life of Joan of Arc for his play, L’Alouette The Lark in which he explored issues of honor and resistance. Anouilh is so bent on deflecting attention away from the female characters of the play and so determined to concentrate his full attention on the male to male love in the play that he does not even grant these two important historical personages the courtesy of their own names.

When Becket became Archbishop and took the part of Saxon monks, Henry was not pleased. Eliot never again used either a martyrdom or such a dazzling array of verse so prominently. The play is written in the manner of which they spoke at the time, so it might be difficult to read, but there are still many excellent lines and characters through the storm of backwards Old English.

I wish for you to read and experience this as well.

Becket, or the Honor of God Summary & Study Guide

What I like most about this play is Anouilh’s skilled weaving of contemporary politics, history, and his own message. Thomas Becket is despondent and divines that this anointment will transform their relationship. When the king hears about Becket’s actions, he accepts them as inevitable, basically: