What have you learned so far through this documentary, and how has it impacted your understanding of/reaction to the play?
We all were able to enjoy a wonderful documentary on the actual Archbishop Thomas Becket, and how he was actually murdered in the cathedral at Canterbury.
The film started by explaining the significance of Canterbury to, not only the people of England at that time, but to the king as well. The Pope at that time gave his command to start at Canterbury the first mission in what is now England. Also, as the most important ruling bishop and closest to the pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury held a lot of political power. Many Kings, including Henry II, wanted to try to use this to their advantage. Although the king was crowned, it was the bishop who crowned them.
The documentary also portrayed historically, how the archbishop was killed. According to the film, four barons of the king, on hearing he was outraged by the archbishop, decided to kill the bishop to gain favor with their lord. Killing Archbishop Thomas though, did the opposite. The king was furious, and sent them on crusades as a punishment. He then would frequently visit the tomb of the Archbishop to pray and ask for forgiveness.
With our knowledge from the documentary, we all are able to figure out that the majority of the play takes place after the archbishop is killed. If anything, this makes me wonder more about what takes place, because there does not seem to be many things going on afterwards. Also, we are able to see how accurate the play was about the murder, and use that to rate how accurate the book is on other things. Finally, It adds a bit of seriousness to the play in general. This was much more complected than somebody being murdered, this could result in completely chaos.