January 18, 2020   |   by admin

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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Only his self-pitying weaknesses, his passionate need for Beckett’s love and his occasional frankness becke him a measure of sympathy.

Modern Language Association http: To ask other readers questions about Becketplease sign up. From the start, Anouilh’s version of Henry II is replete with compassion and understanding. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

Becket by Jean Anouilh

When Henry wants to tax the Church for not sending their men out to fight, the bishops originally say no but eventually give in. The play was only pages and very readable and “meaty” at the same time. This section contains words approx. Stroupe examines the language surrounding family as a metaphor for the relationship between the church and the state. It contains many historical inaccuracies, which the author acknowledged. Nonetheless, Becket continued to oppose the king.

Fry had long since abandoned Eliot’s stair-stepped characters on three levels of perception: His Grace seems to have the reins of the Church of England well in hand. Anouilh died in Sausanne, Switzerland, on October 3, Awaiting to be murdered, he speaks to the monk-servant who is about to dress him, and says: Becket’s mistress, Gwendolen, is beautiful, intelligent, and capable of strong love, which she, like Henry, directs toward Becket.


When Gwendolen goes to the king, she kills herself. Nevertheless, he has taken a young Saxon, Thomas Becket, as his chief adviser. The monk is a young Saxon man bent on killing becet king with a small knife. Being forced to anouilu course now, to adopt unknown and conceivably more difficult means, is explainably a terrifying course of events that he is not certain of carrying through. Generally, in the heroic story there is a final battle during which the hero anoui,h triumphant. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

In the beckef scene, the king and Becket are hunting. bdcket

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. He maintains his own council. My only complaint is that it was sometimes difficult to distinguish the voices to determine who was speaking. What a contrast between Becket’s death and the thousand deaths Henry suffers prior to and during his hysterical seizure of Act. There is often in a heroic story a struggle between good and evil and between the hero bevket the villains.

At times, Anouilh’s commercial popularity has worked against his reputation as a significant literary figure. Do you love Gwendolen?

Gatlin speaks to the alienation in the play while indirectly acknowledging Anouilh’s debt to the French existentialists, most notably to Albert Camus ‘s The Myth of Sisyphus.

But he is not the personage of Anouilh. Hugh Holman, A Handbook to Literature, 8th ed.

Becket by Jean Anouilh | : Books

Unrequited love has rendered Henry metaphorically impotent. Act 3 opens with Henry in his palace accompanied by his mother and his wife. Anouilh, then, uses flashback as a way of focusing the play on the theme of honor.

His hero deserves no recognition either as man or as martyr. We currently support the following browsers: Becket’s Nietzschean aspirations are not merely those that modern men chase on the subconscious level with results that are always and of necessity brcket and negative.


If the Saxons are on our side now, Prince Henry’s followers look as though they have definitely lost the day. But Thomas prefers the more intellectualized perspective of innumerable alternatives to Henry’s perfect conformity.

In the film version, when Becket first receives the seal of the Church and it joins the seal of State on his hand, he says that the powers should be combined. Indeed, the play was both a commercial and critical success.

Henry guarantees Becket safe passage back to England. Often, heroes are reluctant to heed the call; they often do not want to take on the mission before them.

And so we see that Becket has developed something of the terrifying, but necessary, fanaticism of a saint, that he is willing to risk all in defense of God’s Church. Henry grows throughout the play from a rogue to a jaded king, willing to sacrifice his friendship, his love, and his heart for control of England. 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.

What I found very effective and I don’t know if this is historically true is the characters very different personality types.