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Henry vs. Becket Essay

How is it despite their many differences Henry and Becket are able to be friends and coexist together for so long? Even though in the end they severely go their separate ways and do not see eye to eye anymore. In the film Becket based on the novel by Jean Anouilh, Henry’s abuse of the Seven Deadly Sins shows him to be more evil that Thomas Becket who reveals goodness in the Seven Heavenly Virtues. Henry shows himself to be more evil than Becket because of his constant display of the Seven Deadly Sins. Henry shows immense pride in being a Norman and the King of England.He is constantly stating the fact that he is King to emphasize his dominance over one and all. Henry also puts Normans, especially himself, out to be highly superior to Saxons. Another deadly Sin Henry displays is envy towards Becket. He seems to envy Beckets terminology. Becket in a way is smarter than Henry. Henry also displays lust for the Saxon peasant girl. He goes inside her house with Becket trying to escape the rain. As soon as Henry sees her he wants to take her back to his castle and make her a whore. The deadly Sin anger, Henry strongly displays towards Becket.He is angry with Becket because he has chosen to side with God instead of him. Instead of Becket doing as Henry pleases, he is following Gods’ will. So Henrys plan to inaugurate Becket as Arch Bishop, to permit him total control, has back fired. Greed is another Deadly Sin Henry shows when he is talking to Arch Bishop about taxing the church. In order for Henry to get more money and support his army he needs to tax the church. He says that he is poor and needs this money, that there is no other way for him to get it. Henry displays sloth in a spiritual way.He does not see God as his ruler, nor is he fully supportive of the church. In a way Henry believes the church gets in his way most of the time. The last Deadly Sin that Henry displays is gluttony. During the feast when he is showing his men what the fork is used for. There is a ton of food and everyone is eating more than their fill, including Henry. Throughout the movie Henry displays all of the Seven Deadly Sins, some more than once. On the other hand, Becket shows himself to be more virtuous than Henry by practicing the Seven Heavenly Virtues.Henry is always praising Becket for helping him and telling him how grand he is, but Becket shows humility by downplaying what he does for Henry. He says that it is his duty. Becket shows kindness to the poor Saxon girl when he tells Henry he wants her. The reason he tells Henry this is so that the Saxon girl can stay with her family. Another Heavenly Virtue Becket displays is love for God. He shows love for Gods’ will and purpose for him. Becket shows patience while in exile from England. He awaited patiently in France for Henry to allow him back in England.Becket also shows enormous generosity when he is about to be ordained as a priest. He is giving away all of his warm garments and shoes to the poor. While doing this Becket makes a statement that he has never had such enjoyment in his life. Diligence is another Heavenly Virtue Becket showed towards Henry. He was always attentive to Henrys needs and wants, always there for him no matter what. Moderation, the last Heavenly Virtue Becket displayed, was well displayed by Becket in his restrain in fighting.When Henry was trying to win back some of the land France had stolen from him, Becket would not fight first. He would try to win back the land for Henry peacefully first. Throughout the movie Becket might be doing Henrys work but he does it his own way. In the movie Becket Henry displays the Seven Deadly Sins while Thomas Becket displays the Seven Heavenly Virtues. Even though these two could not seem more different, they seem to get along quite well. That is until Becket becomes Arch Bishop. In the end this puts a great burden on their friendship

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