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In Jean Anouilh’s play” Becket,“ Thomas Becket is a Saxon. He serves in the role for the king as his advisor and is the Chancellor of England. He later becomes the Archbishop of Canterbury which places in a controversial position with the king. He is a man torn between loyalty to the church and the politics of his day. The movie much like the play has the same theme of Becket’s realization of his love of honor of God. Becket does not let his friendship with the king interfere in his role for the church . Becket comes to realize that there is a difference between love of the honor of God And simply loving the honor towards God. He recognizes that his love for God is what is the honor. In the Courts of royalty Beckett finds no one capable of honor and feels that he himself must uphold it. This decision eventually leads to his death.
Becket describes honor as:
“I felt for the first time that I was entrusted with something, that's all—there in that empty cathedral somewhere in France, that day when you ordered me to take up this burden. I was a man without honor. And suddenly I found it—one I never imagined would ever become mine—the honor of God. A frail incomprehensible honor, vulnerable as a boy-King fleeing from danger.”
Honor for Becket became the love he had for God and his willingness to sacrifice himself for the love. By serving the church he felt that he was serving God with love not just experiencing honor by the position. The movie and the book demonstrated this in the same manner. It has been a longtime since I saw the movie but from what I recall both play and movie captured Becket‘s love of church fro God, and his willingness to gain king Henry II his former friend as an adversary.
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