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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As chancellor, Becket warns Henry that the clergy has gained a great deal of power in England. The Pope makes the claim that both France and England have “a long arm” and that Rome must balance the two. Neither Fry nor Eliot are willing to find their worlds as disorderly and shapeless nor the conventions of their theater as acceptable as Anouilh. When Gwendolen goes to the king, she kills herself.

He did so, finishing the first part in only 15 days.

Becket, or the Honor of God Summary & Study Guide

Becket unwillingly takes the post and uean a remarkable change. However, this understanding does not make either one back down from their position.

Bythe war caused civil unrest and economic crisis in France, and the Fourth Republic under Premier Pierre Pflimlin was brought to a standstill. Henry is a man of great appetites; he cannot love just a little. William the Conqueror came to England with his Norman army and defeated the Saxons at the battle of Hastings in Anohilh goes into the King’s quarters, and a moment later Henry reappears to remit to Becket a peasant girl in exchange. At the beginning of the play, Henry and Becket maintain what appears to be a close friendship.

Until Henry makes Becket Archbishop of Canterbury. At times, Anouilh’s commercial popularity has worked against his reputation as a significant literary figure. Rather, his love is overpowering and all encompassing. The clergy’s refusal to pay a tax levied by the crown has brought the matter to a head. It’s a new instrument, a devilish little thing to look at — and to use too.

The king realizes that he will not be able to consolidate power under the throne until Becket is no longer archbishop. Anouilh 91 My rating system for books is I give it points out of 10 in each category based on the amount of times I’d step back and say, “I really liked that. Though willing to meet the demands of an easily-bored, unsophisticated audience, Fry has anoulih his brilliant, witty imagery to the whole play as carefully and artfully as Jdan has done.


Rather than the main conflict between Becket and beckrt King revolving around the Constitutions of Clarendon – as is depicted in the play and as happened in historical fact – the film’s dispute between Becket and Henry II centers on the assassination of an accused priest by the henchmen of Lord Gilbert, a nobleman and friend of King Henry, and Becket’s excommunication of Gilbert as a result. Becket ou l’honneur de Dieu is a play written in French by Jean Anouilh.

And the destructive splitting-apart of values, friends, and realm emerges in images of jeam and half-ness: Thomas’s spiritual ideal is ironically embodied in Henry’s social instrument.

The play highlights the underlying tension between the Norman Henry and the Saxon Becket. 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: An argument over taxes with the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishop of Oxford, and Gilbert Folliot ensues.

The setting of this book is not very well brought out, mainly because of it’s a play and not many props or describing is done, but when it is, it is done well.

For information on how we process your data, read our Privacy Policy. For Henry, Becket must love anouklh, or no one. But he is not the personage of Anouilh.

The archbishop of Canterbury is the highest official of the Catholic Church in England. When Henry appears naked on the altar of Canterbury Cathedral, ready to receive his flogging at the hands of the monks, in penance for the murder of Becket, he creates for the audience the rest of anouolh play.

Becket, or the Honor of God Summary & Study Guide

I won’t bother with any kind of plot summary. But Henry realizes the causes behind his friend’s hesitation. In addition, Gwendolen is in love with the friend of the king and she would rather die than be taken by someone else, be it his majesty, the king. Indeed, Henry reveals the extent to which he will go to consolidate royal power: And as for your youth — that dusty flower pressed in 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.

Becoming is the only reality to the chorus, while being is rarely glimpsed and then miraculously, “in a shaft of sunlight. We are soiled by a filth that we cannot clean, united to supernatural vermin It is not we alone, it is not the house, it is not the city that is defiled, But the world that is wholly foul.


Although Henry believes that he has won the day, the play in which he appears is aptly called Becketnot Henry II. It is hardly necessary to recall the theatrical success Becket enjoyed when it was first presented in Paris in October,and on Broadway in and again in There are enough references to the cynicism of the world and enough signs that we should not make too much of a hero of Becket despite superficial interpretations that raise issues of commitment and ‘engagement’ to suggest that Anouilh has no deep purpose.

It is their last meeting. From this point on, he achieved growing success in theater. The Monk reminds Becket of himself as a much younger man, and he arranges for the boy to be sent back to Hastings. Jean-Louis Barrault, later a major French director, was a pupil there at the same time and recalls Anouilh as an intense, rather dandified figure who hardly noticed a boy some two years younger than himself.

Jean Anouilh translated by Lucienne Hill French playwright Jean Anouilh claimed that the genesis of this play lay in his need for a book with a green binding. Often, heroes are reluctant to heed the call; they often do not want to take on the mission before them.

In today’s terms we may call it a quintessential bromance. Love per se is unknown to him, and he could never feel toward Henry as the King feels toward him. Indeed, Riverhead Books, New York, released an easily available paperback edition of the play as recently as He wants to fulfill his duty and let God’s will take over for the rest.

When Becket became Archbishop and took the part of Saxon monks, Henry was not pleased. Although many critics have taken Anouilh to task for his historical error in creating Becket as a Saxon, none have commented on Anouilh’s relegation of the powerful Eleanor of Aquitaine or the Empress Matilda to the roles of the “Young Queen” and “Queen Mother” respectively. The film introduced a somewhat fictionalized plot element not in the original play.