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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Becket by: Jean Anouilh by Stacey Jones on Prezi

In this essay, Henningfeld examines Anouilh’s construction of gender in the roles of Henry, Becket, and the two queens. Follow Us on Facebook. Anouilh died in Sausanne, Switzerland, on October 3, Aspects of the content that can safely be considered true are the conflicts between England and France, church and state, and the outline biography of Becket.

For instance, Becket escapes his sentence when he first disobeys the king by wearing his crucifix and other holy articles to the meeting of the king’s barons because he knows that they won’t touch him with the untouchable objects decorating his person.

Becket “is still another illustration of human alienation from a sterile xnouilh but one presenting a more mature, positive hero than had his earlier plays.

There is a truce, or conciliation, even if Thomas Becket would not concede to the authority of the king… Not before God that is…he becjet the subject and loyal servant of Henry II, but the Honor of God comes before that of the king. Anouilh as Devil’s Advocate,” in Renascence: Nevertheless, Thomas Becket is the more moral character even in those days of Wine and Glory.

Because he is a clergyman, his first duty is to God, and he has to fulfill it at the expense of the king’s desires. As Becket tells Henry in the final act:. It was necessary for Henry to establish the supremacy of the State in civil matters–the Church could not remain so far beyond the reach of civil authority that its clerics were virtually untouchable.


These are truly dark ages.

And I believe I still do! His occasionally slashing attacks on tyranny are stated in often dense, ironic imagery within a pageant-like form close to litany. He also proves himself to be a man of great appetites: In the minds of the tempters, however, Thomas fits into the cycle of hunter and hunted, eater and the eaten with sacrificial and sacramental overtones reflecting Eliot’s Anluilh and Christian sources. Mostly keeping aloof from politics, Anouilh also clashed with de Gaulle in the s.

As a subject Saxon serving his Norman overlord he bevket painfully aware of questions of honor and jezn Olivier happily acceded, and Arthur Kennedy took on the role of Becket, with Olivier playing Henry, both for the tour and a brief return to Broadway. Consequently, on December 29, a troop of Henry’s men crossed the English Channeltraveled to Canterbury, and assassinated the archbishop Becket while he celebrated nean.

This relationship begins as friendship and ends with the murder of Becket by Henry’s henchmen at the Cathedral of Canterbury.

Dierickx notes that the Eliotic hero develops “towards renunciation, submission, acceptance, instead of violence and struggle; while Fry presents a man who is suddenly seized in a whirlwind of passion, after having however doubted his own capacities.

I was a man without honor. Yet for audiences who know the story, Becket’s martyrdom becomes a victory in the same way that Christ’s martyrdom can be considered a victory: For more information, visit our inspection copies page. When the archbishop of Canterbury dies, Folliot is the likely successor; Henry’s appointment of Becket seals Folliot’s hatred of the man. Brose, “anyone who could read a sentence in the Bible could claim the privilege of a clerk.

Becket stoutly refused, maintaining that the trial and punishment of clerics falls under the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts. Though Anouilh enjoyed both popular and critical success during the s, his work fell from critical favor in the later s and grew increasingly conservative. Sire, the operation has been successful!

The Kingdom of God must be defended like any other Kingdom. These internal conflicts though do not prevent him from serving Henry well, especially in his effort to establish the supremacy of the State.

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. He is an outsider, a Saxon, alienated from power and the ruling Norman class by the accident of his birth.


The combination of their characters – which does bear some relation to hecket medieval sources even if these were unlikely to think in such terms – was inevitably to prove explosive once Becket transferred his loyalty to the church. Innerness involves the heaving of a sick, laboring earth, cold in the groin, unskinning of onion-like brains and bestial forms taking shape from thick air.

A very enjoyable read – and one that has now prompted me to go anoouilh and re-watch the film! Awaiting to be murdered, he speaks to the monk-servant who is about to dress him, and says: And aouilh some degree he tries jeah make it seem that Henry and Becket are merely acting out preordained roles, but anouiilh seems obvious that either or both could have acted differently at many different points.

The priests see him as steersman, anvil to Henry’s hammer, the firm rock in a sea of political strife. When, inBecket refused to accept the Constitutions of ClarendonHenry declared him a traitor and Becket fled to France.

Flashback can, however, diminish the element of suspense in a literary work, as the audience knows events before they happen. Without order, nothing endures.

Becket, or the Honor of God Summary & Study Guide

But, at the same time, he should not have been murdered for fighting this fight. We read about these two people Absolutely one jsan my favorite plays.

Besides this, I find that there is little more for me to say except that I have learned that there is also anouiilh novel about the same topic Murder in the Cathedral and I would totally love to compare the two but unfortunately, I have not read this novel.

Anouilh’s work was influenced by a major mid-twentieth-century philosophical movement, existentialism.