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HENRY THE II Some history movies provide viewers with information and knowledge on a certain subject; however, the best history information can be obtained through books, and literature. Both the Lion in Winter and Becket have their likenesses, but they also have their differences. Henry the II was an important figure in England and his character and family played an important role in the decision making for the future kingdom. Both movies are similar in that they show Henry's intellectual intelligence; however, the movies are not similar in the description and the character of Henry's family.

The description of Henry's intelligence in both movies is similar. In the movie Becket, Henry uses both strategy and intelligence when choosing to make Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterbury. His reasoning in making Becket Archbishop was because once Henry had both church and state on his side, then there would be nothing stopping him.

Unfortunately for Henry, he did not count of Becket to become a "˜holy man' and a man of God. In a Lion in Winter, Henry was involved in a discussion with Louis of France in which they discussed each other's moves. It was during this discussion that Henry proves his intelligence as well as his cunning strategy. Henry, through his deliberation with Louis, was able to find out how Louis worked and what his plans were without giving away his position or "Telling him a thing." Henry also used strategy when it came to his relationships to Alyce and Eleanor. By controlling both Eleanor and Alyce, Henry was able to keep Alyce's land and at the same time, keep Eleanor's aquatane in check. By keeping Eleanor locked up, Henry was able to eventually pursued Eleanor to sign over the aquatane in return for her freedom. With this deal being set, Henry became owner of almost half of England, thus increasing his power. Through strategy and positioning, Henry was able to conquer over enemies and obtain large masses of land, thus revealing his intelligence.

The differences between the two movies was not in Henry's character but in the character of his family. In Becket, Henry's family was an insignificant part of his kingdom. His wife, the mighty Eleanor of Aquataine, was shown sewing in her chair without regard or care to Henry's problems. She was portrayed as an insignificant, and a harmless character. Henry's mom, when seeing Thomas Becket's prosecution in Henry's court, said that it was good that Becket was finally being taken down, after all he had caused a lot of pain upon herself and Henry. Henry showed at this moment that he favored his beloved friend, Thomas Becket over his family by telling her that he loved Thomas even when he hated him, and he did not love her. Henry had no regard for his mother. After all, she had left him at a young age. Henry showed no love for his wife, Eleanor, nor did he care about her. When she talked of Thomas Becket, he quickly shut her up, not caring to hear her opinion. Henry also appeared to not like his children. In one scene, Henry is shown giving his son, Henry the III, a dinner in his name because he is to become the future king. Henry remarks about his son's stupidity while sitting at the table, he say's something along the lines of "Look at you, you pig. Even when I give you the glory you still don't realize it." Henry shoes no care about his son's emotions nor does he care about his son. In a Lion in Winter, Henry's family is seen in a totally different perspective. It appears, in many different cases that Henry loves his wife, Eleanor. When both of them are sitting in front of the fireplace after their sons had betrayed Henry, they had a talk about the Aquataine and about each other. They discuss what it was like before, when they were happy and in love, and they showed their emotions by kissing. Henry is seen as someone with emotion and Eleanor is seen as a loving, competitive lover. Henry's sons are also seen different. Henry loves his son John the most, and he tells all three sons this while they are in the dungeon. He tells Richard that he thinks he is strong, smart, and would make a good ruler if he had not sided with Eleanor in the wars. He thinks of Jeffrey as a coniving, plotting and a disloyal son. Henry shows his true emotions about his sons shortly after the curtain scene. Henry has found out that his son John, who he was going to give the kingdom to, had betrayed him and plotted against him. He walked through the castle in complete agony and anguish because he had "˜no sons' anymore. Henry's family is seen as nagging, and insignificant in one movie where as in the other they are shown as loving, competitive, and coniving.

Both movies were somewhat accurate in the overall picture but each had their differences in character. Henry was seen in both movies as an intellectual master mind who plotted and stratagized his every move. However, the movies were different in the portrayal of his family. One showed his family as a distraction and an insignificant force, while the other showed them as an important part of Henry's kingdom. Hollywood movies are not always the best ways to explain history because their goal is to make money and not necessarily show true fact.