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 is as it were detached. Now I don’t wash any more. The Normans mistreated the Saxons for many years as depicted in the film, and the Barons and clergy were Normans.

Together, we might have made a world of progress Between us, by our three variants of human nature, You and Becket and me, we could have been The complete reaching forward.

Becket continued to oppose the king, however, and Henry, in his anouuilh in Normandy, reportedly asked who among his barons would rid him of Becket. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Becket – Wikipedia

The play opens and closes with Becket’s death and a naked Henry kneeling before Becket’s grave. Anouilh openly admits his error in making Becket’s Saxon parentage an important thematic device in the play.

The effect is summed up wryly as “redemption by divine arithmetic. And it is possible to respect both sides in the struggle between the two. Fry sees evil as a consequence of man’s consciousness that he must die and love for life the supreme good.

Becket, or the Honor of God Summary & Study Guide

Whereas Becket grows in stature throughout the play, losing the frivolity of his youth, Henry diminishes. For Anouilh, historical accuracy was less important than was his positioning of Becket and Henry as diametrically opposed characters: More summaries and resources for teaching or studying Becket, or the Honor of God.


As Dynamene says in A Phoenix Too Frequent, “When the thoughts are alert for life, the instincts rage for destruction. But if “it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” then Henry is a qualified winner because he is at least left with the fond memory of a rapprochment which, at times, provided him with sources of joy and support.

I want to see my great fat barons’ faces, at the first court banquet, when I present them with that! This play was made into a film in called Identity Unknown. For Sartre, human beings are free to choose. Ironically perhaps, the weight of its own success problematized the thematic integrity of Becketleading to the strange denial and reconstruction of the clearly homoerotic subtext of the play and film.

The king doesn’t believe him, but Becket proves it to the extreme emotional pain of the king, who bursts out randomly after their split, when alone or in the middle of conversation with others, including his nobles, “Je l’amais, Becket, je t’aime” and various versions of the same. His death opens the way for Henry to appoint Becket to this position, thus setting the tragedy in motion.

The queen is Henry’s wife. When Becket must leave the country because of his conflict with the king, he runs to France, of course. Henry guarantees Becket safe passage back to England.

When, inBecket refused to accept the Constitutions of ClarendonHenry declared him a traitor and Becket fled to France. Will no one rid me of him?

The second act opens in a forest in France, where qnouilh English army has just won a victory against the French. I ran across the LA Theaterworks production on Audible and gave it a try.


For Becket, this means that he can never relax into the friendship, nor can he always trust Henry’s good will. Without order, nothing endures.

At issue is who will have authority over England: It has ethnic and religious conflict; dispute that remain unsettled to this day. Feb 09, Cath rated it it was amazing. His love for Becket grows out of all proportion; and when Becket refuses to do the king’s bidding, the king cannot determine his own feelings.

Jones suggests in his book on Eliot, aims at organic unity, the crystallization of meaning in imagery, and a capacity for lifting the action onto a plane of universal significance.

The two men became fast friends, and Henry even entrusted the education of his son, Henry, to Becket.

The King is Might and he is the law. But he is not the personage of Anouilh. He is a collaborator with the conquering race, but not one of them. Anouilh enrolled as a law becekt in the University of Paris, only to abandon the course after just eighteen months when he found employment in the advertising industry. His plays were widely produced across Europe and the United States.

As the act closes, Becket is at a crucifix, praying. Beckft Approaches Angels in America: Indeed, it is love that destroys his very masculinity.