(sub)Text: Friendship and Honor in “Becket” (1964)

In Jean Anouilh’s 1959 play “Becket,” the titular character seems at first to be a Saxon collaborationist to the Norman rule of England, and a man who has sacrificed his personal honor to his friendship with King Henry II and, as he puts it, “good living.” This will change when he becomes Archbishop of Canterbury, only to realize that he is enchanted by the “honor of God,” leading him to to defend at any cost the prerogatives of the Church against those of the state. When is honor more important than friendship? Wes & Erin discuss the 1964 film version of the play, with Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton, about a 12th-century high-profile bromance-gone-bad.

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