Beckett " King Henry "

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In Becket, King Henry is constantly in conflict with someone. In fact, it's not too far off to say that he doesn't get along very well with anybody, excluding Becket himself. This may not be entirely Henry's fault, however. His family certainly seems to treat him miserably, never showing much love or compassion. And although Henry seems to hate his family, he may just be calling out to them for affection in the only way he knows how. Once his family rejects him, he turns elsewhere for companionship and finds Becket, a lowly Saxon servant with surprising intelligence, to be his friend.

Although there are only a few scenes in which Henry interacts with his sons, it is obvious that he has no love for them. His sons spend their time playing in the castle, pretending to be kings and dukes and nobles. Henry resents this and lashes out at them whenever he sees this.

Henry looks at their roughhousing and sees something that he is intensely jealous of. He sees their carefree youth and wishes he could be like them, not having anything to worry about. He also knows that his boys were raised at home, away from him by, and this brings us to our next topic, his wife and his mother.

Henry's wife are very similar and are usually seen together. To Henry, they are nothing but a burden to him and they argue constantly. Each accuses him of being a faulty king every chance they get, and at best treat him with indifference. Their frustrations for each other finally come out at the dinner scene when Henry proclaims he will have his son crowned early. A bitter argument ensues where both sides tell their true feelings for one another. Henry and his family put up with one another because it is the proper thing to do "for England". However, there is no love between them.

Henry, although showered with every material possession he desired, never had much love from anyone in his life. In his search for companionship he came across Becket, a lowly saxon servant to him. Becket soon turned out to be much more than meets the eye, however. He is extraordinarily intelligent and in him Henry found something he'd ever experienced before, friendship. Becket treated Henry with respect and he loved that. No one had ever been so kind to him without some sort of alterior motive. Henry was so taken by Becket's temperance and magnanimous nature that he never wanted to be around anyone else, and soon made Becket the Archbishop of Canterbury. A most unfortunate decision, however it shows Henry's love for Becket.