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. What does the Second Tempter tell Beckett he will be like if he continues on course?

2. According to the Four Tempters, what is man's life?

3. Who does Becket say may have intercepted his letters and planned his demise?

4. What month does the Second Tempter say Beckett will have power?

5. What metaphor does the Third Priest use to compare the relationship between the King and the Archbishop?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does the Chorus fear the "love of God?"

2. How does Becket believe a martyr should be defined?

3. What does the First Tempter use to entice Thomas Becket?

4. What does Becket decide to do by the end of Part I?

5. Was Thomas Becket prepared for his temptations?

6. According to Becket, what did God mean when he told his disciples "My peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you."

7. Why does Becket fear that giving into the Fourth Tempter would be doing "the right deed for the wrong reason?"

8. What is the initial and more general accusation the Knights' hold against the Archbishop?

9. What happens when the Priests enter at the beginning of Part II to change the ambiance of the play? Do you believe it is effective?

10. Who does the Fourth Knight believe truly killed Thomas Becket? What is his proof that this is true?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Chorus serves as a sort of guide and narrator throughout the play.

Part 1) Why does Eliot make the Chorus a group of women? How does this create a different dramatic effect from a male chorus?

Part 2) Describe which social group the Chorus represents and why that is important to its purpose in the plot.

Part 3) What is the Chorus' relationship to Becket and why is that important to their relationship to the audience (the reader)? Is the Chorus a surrogate for us?

Essay Topic 2

The Interlude is the sermon Becket gives on Christmas Day. He says it may be his last.

1) Who is this sermon directed to? What is his relationship to them?

2) What is the main argument of his speech and what are the points that lead up to his conclusion?

3) What is the purpose of this final sermon? What does he want from the audience? How does he make it an effective speech?

Essay Topic 3

The Chorus seems to believe in a "Void." They believe that God's judgment will lead Becket to this Void rather than a peaceful afterlife. The Fourth Knights insists that Becket commits suicide. Using examples from the text, argue whether or not you believe that Becket's actions, which he knew would lead to murder, were justified and moral. Consider: if Becket coordinated his own death, could he still bring about the order he believes martyrdom will bring about? By the end of the play, is he still doing "the right deed for the wrong reason?"

(see the answer keys)

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