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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Let’s speak of something else.

It’s essential, my prince, otherwise we can’t know what we’re doing. Awaiting to be murdered, he speaks to the monk-servant who is about to dress him, and anouilu When a young monk tries to murder the king, Becket saves the monk before he can commit treason.

For Henry, Becket must love him, or no one. A really great script that raises fascinating questions.

Becket, or the Honor of God Summary & Study Guide

As he prepares to be scourged, he flashes back to happier days when he and Becket would carouse together and their fast friendship led to Becket’s dizzying rise to power, even to the chancellorship of England. What a drama queen.

Great lines-get a hi-lighter. But imagine what Western society might be like today had there not been men of the quality of Henry and Becket to on the one hand consolidate the power of the State and on the other to place certain moral restraints upon the conduct of the State. But this murder of a popular prelate, the murder occurring in a cathedral no less, brings down the anger of the nation upon the King’s head, forcing him to do penance and prostrate himself before the Church and Becket’s sarcophagus: He has adopted a sparer, more theatricalist form to focus on a simpler loyalty-revenge relationship in a chaotic, impinging universe.


This audio version is good, even though it seems as if Beckett has anouil lisp. Nor can one see much resemblance between the crafty, powerful King of England and the not-so-witty and boyishly boisterous monarch described by the author.

Rather than give her body to the king, she commits suicide in his bed. KING Then what are you waiting for? We drank in public, we knew about pot. Retrieved from ” https: Like King Louis, he is willing to use Beciet for his own political advantage. Rather, his love is overpowering and all encompassing. Anouilh’s work was influenced by a major mid-twentieth-century philosophical movement, existentialism. An argument over taxes with the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishop of Oxford, and Gilbert Folliot ensues.

What he fails to recognize is that in his martyrdom, Becket becomes a stronger force than ever. Won’t go into the plot. His father was a tailor and Anouilh maintained that he inherited from him a pride in conscientious craftmanship. Henry is taken aback to discover that Becket takes his new post so seriously as to give away all his riches, to take on the mantle of poverty, and becjet feed the poor.

But the aim of this paper is not to refute the unnamed reviewer in Time.

Eliot has never been expansive. For whether or not Becket “willed” his death, his martyrdom removed the church’s opposition to the political supremacy of the secular government and affirmed the subordination of human to divine justice.

Becket (Modern Plays) Jean Anouilh: Methuen Drama

Had he been more perspicacious, he would have known that Becket had a singular penchant for seemingly emulating the actions of a saint while laboring kean for the perfection of anouiln own supremacy.


When the witty uses of irony are added to this vast stock of comparisons, the possibilities for richness of texture and illumination are multiplied. It is Henry who is the memorable and convincing character of the two even if Becket is the nominal centre of the play.

He is no less a martyr for the dubiousness of his cause.

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 that are never truly made clear – but only shades.

Le Roi and Becket are foils for each other. In a famous statement to his barons, Henry cries, “Will no one rid me of him? I was a profligate, gentlemen, perhaps a libertine, in any case, a worldly man.

This is an amazing work and I highly recommend it. The king, in the opening scene, knows that Becket has been murdered, and he believes that he has consequently been able to strip Becket of his power. Bevket king unexpectedly makes Becket, a mere deacon, the Archbishop of England even though he was not qualified.

As a character, he seems utterly alone after the break between the two men.