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 doesn't the Third Priest see in "the art of temporal government?"

2. What is not one of the ways the Chorus, the priests and the Tempters describe an unexpected death?

3. How does the chorus define its time in Canterbury since the Archbishop left seven years previous?

4. What does the Third Tempter believe upon his arrival?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What might be a reason Becket chose to do this speech?

2. What is the importance of the banners that the Priests enter with and the mention of all of Saints?

3. What does Thomas Becket do to attempt to have a safe passage back into England?

4. What does Becket ask his flock to remember?

5. What is a method that Becket uses to outline his sermon in the Interlude?

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

7. Why might Becket pointedly ask the congregation to remember his words?

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

9. What are the tactics that Eliot writes into the speech of the Second Knight to persuade the audience to see their point of view?

10. What is the meaning of the urgency behind the Knight's demands upon entering the scene?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In Part II, the Fourth Knight states that "there are times when violence is the only way social justice can be secured." They have just killed an important political figure to bring about what they perceive to be order, and they believe it to be justified.

1) Can you see the Knight's point of view on this matter? Explain why they may or may not be justified in their actions.

2) Use an important historic event that you believe parallels the Knights belief. Look at the details of such events as the 1968 Democratic National Convention or the Rodney King riots. You may even use examples of executions and the death penalty (i.e. The hanging of Saddam Hussein). Compare your example to that of the murder of Thomas Becket. Looking at your evidence, do you believe that violence can bring about a peaceful end?

Essay Topic 2

Choose two of the characters from the play excluding Becket. Compare and contrast the following aspects of the characters:

Part 1) Their social standing.

Part 2) Their political views.

Part 3) Their religious beliefs.

Now describe how these traits affect their opinion of Becket and his actions in the play. How are their opinions different? How are they similar?

Essay Topic 3

The three Priests have been without the Archbishop's leadership for seven years. His return is important to their spiritual well-being.

Part 1) What is the Priests' outlook on Becket's return? What is the opinion of the First Priest? The Second? The Third?

Part 2) Compare the similarities and differences between the individual opinions of the Priests and that of Becket's in regard to his return. What viewpoints do these people represent?

Part 3) Describe how Becket's return was important to these three men and how it reflects the needs of the community of Canterbury as a whole. What is his relationship to this group?

(see the answer keys)

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