Thomas a Becket was a truly noble martyr who lived with and died for honor. Thomas Becket's stubbornness and rigorous demand for honor sealed his death. Throughout the book Becket is forced to compromise or hold tight to his beliefs and values. .
As a friend to King Henry II Becket felt that there was "a gap” in him where honor should be. Becket felt that as long as he was "among the conquerors” he would have to improvise his honor. There is foreshadowing in the end of act one, that if Becket meets his honor "face to face,” he will be forced to go against King Henry. The Saxons, of which Becket descended, had been conquered by the people he is friends with. He felt for that he could have no honor.
Thomas Becket, as Chancellor of England, feels that he is incapable of love and honor. Becket finds the barons idea of honor to be ridiculous. Becket believed, then, that honor was not in how you fought but only if you won. Honor came solely in victory. There was no honor in following the "rules” of battle only to be slain. Becket believed that being successful was honorable in its self. .
The barons were filled with jealousy for Becket. They saw him as less than a man, a Saxon. They were idiotic hypocrites who believed there was no honor in killing a fallen knight, but there was in ”slaughtering the lot” of innocent villagers. Beside Becket, their hypocritical traits were magnified and one could clearly see how ridiculous there views were. .
Becket did not wish to become the Primate of England. He pleaded with King Henry not to appoint him Archbishop. Once he became Archbishop he changed to a very calm and gentle person. He began to pursue honor with an unshakeable conviction. Thomas Becket first thinks it may be possible to serve both God and England, but soon realizes that Gods honor is unyielding. Becket says that he must defend the honor of God because it is "as vulnerable as a boy-king fleeing from danger.