Why is Thomas Becket considered to be an important figure in history?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In historical terms, Thomas Becket is important because he is a major example of the tension between the Church and the state in medieval times.  During those times, there was only one Christian Church in Western Europe and it had a great deal of power.  Its power would often come in conflict with the power of monarchs.  This sort of conflict was a major factor in medieval society and it is what led to Becket's death.

On less historical grounds, Becket is seen as an important person because he was a martyr for his conscience.  He was willing to die rather than to abandon his beliefs.  This makes him a compelling figure to many people.

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