Honor is perhaps the one distinction that humans universally strive to achieve. Unlike other ideals such as fame or stardom, honor and finding one's identity are principles that lend themselves into the discovery of one's distinction in the world, one's unique purpose in life. Although people may not realize they are consciously pursuing honor, upon examining contemporary society, it is evident the ultimate aspiration of humans is to make their mark on the world. For example, teachers aspire to impart valuable information in order to educate a new generation, while physicians receive no greater gratification than saving a life. The search for honor even existed as far back as medieval times, when humans sought, perhaps more ardently, their true distinction in a world of chaotic wars and treachery. Jean Anouilh's Becket, which transpires in 12th century England, a completely disparate setting from modern American society, attests to the universality of humankind's search for honor and self. Becket, once an unfulfilled man, conclusively achieves true self-realization once he is appointed Archbishop "yet loses everything he once cherished "including his life in the process. .
Since Becket cannot fulfill his void of self-purpose while serving the King, he years for honor that has eluded him. Although the King appoints him as Chancellor, a respectable position that brings him power, wealth, and prestige, Becket still feels a "gap in [him] where honor ought to be- (Anouilh 34). Perhaps Becket feels he lives his life in vain because his privileges are subject to the mercurial King's demands; whenever he objects to the King's latest whim, he is coldly told, "That's an order, little Saxon- (Anouilh 29). The King never lets him forget he is a "Saracen girl's son- (Anouilh 29), and even forces Becket to yield his one true love, Gwendolen. Although the King never directly oppresses Becket due to his Saxon heritage, it is clear that the matter is always on the king's mind, as it also spurs resentment among the King's barons.