Becket Essay

1163 words - 5 pages

Becket Essay Have you ever heard the phrase opposites attract? Have you ever experienced it for yourself? In the case of Thomas Becket and King Henry II, this phrase was a very accurate reality. King Henry was very spontaneous and irrational in his decisions for the well being of England. He relied significantly upon Thomas Becket for knowledge and guidance in situations of both importance and irrelevancy for the welfare of his country. Becket, on the other hand, did not give the impression of reliance upon Henry at all. Since their first encounter, Henry had been mystified by Becket's outlook on life and his passiveness and assurance. Although their characters give the impression to be in no way similar, their reliance upon one another is very powerful and yet extremely surprising. Becket becomes resilient to Henry's irrationalities and eccentric attitude in situations and looks past his weaknesses to show him his strengths and possibilities of being useful in life. King Henry II is a very influential and imposing man. He has an extremely short temper and has absolutely no patience when it comes to ignorance. He exemplifies this with his actions toward his wife and mother after Becket has left. He becomes irate and will not listen to anyone. From when they first met, Henry was incredibly reliant upon Becket and his knowledgeable solutions to his problems and frustrations. Henry easily becomes bored with life and all the people things around him. He is not emotionally content, and Becket helps him to find satisfaction out of his life and role and duty as King England. Becket gives Henry a sense of worth and confidence, and Henry relishes the feeling. Most of Henry's decisions are to make himself feel better and Becket tries to make him realize that he can make both himself and England happy at the same time. Thomas Becket is just as much of an influential and imposing man as King Henry, although in a very different manner. Becket is pretty much opposite from Henry in his attitude. Becket is a very calm mannered person. He thinks through his decisions and choices carefully and decides what the best possible one is. He knows that he has some weaknesses, like when he points out, "Where there should be honor in me there is only a void." He knows that he is only human, but tries to do the best he can. He takes his duties very seriously, especially when he is make Chancellor of England by Henry. Becket takes his moral obligations seriously and refuses to give in to Henry's whims to change things to suit himself. Becket could not find anything that was fulfilling to him in life, even in women. His lady friend loved him very much, but when Henry takes her away and she kills herself because she does not want to be without Becket, Becket is not affected very much at all. But when Henry appoints him archbishop, Becket finds it fulfilling, saying, "I have never enjoyed myself this much in my entire life." He takes his moral obligations...

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