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Becket by Jean Anouilh

Becket (1961)

by Jean Anouilh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7561218,441 (4.02)14
  1. 20
    The Lion in Winter by James Goldman (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Henry II and family after Becket
  2. 10
    A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt (inge87)
  3. 00
    Curtmantle by Christopher Fry (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Another play about Henry II. Not as emotionally intense as Becket

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» See also 14 mentions

English (11)  French (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Great cast but I think that I liked the 1964 film with Richard Burton & Peter O'Toole based on this play better. ( )
  leslie.98 | Aug 11, 2018 |
The story of the rise and fall of Thomas Becket, who turned his back on friendship with King Henry II when he became Archbishop. The author doesn't do much to make his characters heroic. They are all, from the poorest beggar to the most ennobled aristocrat, unpleasant humans. Becket does manage to become somewhat more likeable to many in the end, I've no doubt, but the extreme insistence that the world had to fit into the mold he believed God wanted for it made him somewhat of a self-righteous prig, which comes through in the story in spite of the gentle pieties written into the script. A powerful story that carries you through to the ending you already know, but somehow something was a bit lacking, though I can't exactly say what. Definitely read it if you get a chance. ( )
  Devil_llama | Aug 24, 2016 |
3.5 stars ( )
  LiteraryChanteuse | Jan 27, 2016 |
If you have never seen Becket, the movie, with Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton, you must. It's based on this play by Jean Anouilh that I had never read. I ran across the LA Theaterworks production on Audible and gave it a try. Wonderful production and play. My only complaint is that it was sometimes difficult to distinguish the voices to determine who was speaking. If you can, get a copy of the printed play to read along with the audio.

I won't bother with any kind of plot summary. Everyone knows (or should know) the story of Henry II and his stormy relationship with Thomas Becket. It has ethnic and religious conflict; dispute that remain unsettled to this day.

Another great movie related to Henry II is Lion in Winter, also with Peter O'Toole. Get both of them. You will not be disappointed. ( )
  ecw0647 | May 31, 2014 |
bookshelves: published-1959, play-dramatisation, medieval5c-16c, historical-fiction, revenge, teh-brillianz, re-visit-2013, autumn-2013, film-only
Read from January 01, 1979 to November 29, 2013, read count: 3

Original review: Bettie's Books

photo 689211_zps61542034.gif

Revisit November 2013 to compliment this section within The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England

IMDB blurb: An English king comes to terms with his affection for his close friend and confidant, who finds his true honor by observing God's divine will rather than the king's.

Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud

"What miserable drones and traitors have I nurtured and promoted in my household who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born clerk!" (this is often, incorrectly, rendered as 'will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?)

From wiki: This play contains many historical inaccuracies, which the author acknowledged.

Doesn't stop my enjoyment of this great play. ( )
  mimal | Jan 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anouilh, Jeanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hill, LucienneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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An indeterminate set, with pillars, We are in the cathedral.
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Book description
Thomas Becket was Henry II's boon companion and political lieutenant, notably in the king's struggle to curb the power of the clergy. When the Archbishop of Canterbury died Henry forced Becket, much against his will, to take his place. Becket told the king: 'If I become archbishop I shall cease to be your friend,' and his first act as archbishop was to give up his mistresses and sell his horses and rich clothes. He, who with Henry had fought the Church for the good of the State, now felt responsible for the honour of God. The conflict between the king and Becket was inevitable, and was followed, just as inevitably, by murder and remorse.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 039951354X, Paperback)


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:22 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Dramatically depicts Becket's friendship with Henry II and the events which led to Becket's murder.

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