Murder in the Cathedral Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who does Becket say saved him from the wrath of his enemies?

2. What is not one of the events of the past seven years that the Chorus describes?

3. According to the Chorus, what does the Archbishop bring into Canterbury?

4. What does the First Priest compare the women of Canterbury to?

5. According to the Third Tempter, what does friendship depend upon?

Short Essay Questions

1. At the beginning of Part II, how does the Chorus describe the oncoming Spring? What do you think Eliot intended it to relay the audience?

2. Before Becket is dragged to the altar by the Three Priests, he seems at peace. How is this possible?

3. Why is it that Becket believes a martyr is never an accident?

4. What is the part of King Henry II in the play and what is his relationship with Becket?

5. What does Becket see as being ironic about the peace God offered?

6. What is one of the more specific crimes the Knights bring up in their accusations?

7. According to Becket, how do we define peace?

8. What is the tone of the Chorus' "death-bringers" speech after the Knights exit for the first time?

9. Why was the Fourth Tempter most effective in his temptation compared to the other three?

10. What is a literary tool that Becket uses in writing the interlude?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Look at one of T.S. Eliot's most famous poems, The Hollow Men ( Found online at http://poetry.poetryx.com/poems/784/). Read it several times. Now search through Murder in the Cathedral and choose one of the Chorus' speeches. Compare and contrast Eliot's writing style, elements and themes in his works. What are some of the poetic tools Eliot repeats in his monologues? How are the rhythms the same? How are they different?

Essay Topic 2

Becket believes that his death will ultimately bring good to the public, the church, and his own spiritual well-being.

1) Cite several instances in which Becket or another character argue for the choice of martyrdom. Define what Becket's modus operandi is in allowing his own murder

2) Looking at the way his followers reacted to his death, were Becket's goals achieved?

3) Think of another historic figure that you consider a martyr (i.e. Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr.). Compare that person with Becket.

4) For you, what truly defines a martyr? How does the death of one person catalyze social change?

5) Do you believe there are the moral implications to celebrating death in such a way?

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the following topics:

A) Eliot uses metaphor heavily in this script, especially in comparing people to animals. Choose five examples of this in the script, cite them, and explain why you believe it was effective or ineffective to the characters and the plot as a whole.

B) Evocative imagery is a major component in the dialogue, especially when the Chorus speaks. Look at the Chorus' "death-bringer" speech (p. 66). In it, Eliot uses the idea of the five senses to create images for the reader/audience. Why would he use the five senses to aid in his imagery? Do you believe Eliot used it efficiently?

(see the answer keys)

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