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. How does Thomas Beckett's thought end?: "If the Archbishop cannot trust the Throne/ He has good cause to trust none but _____________"

2. What is the first action that the Second Priest wants to take to welcome the Archbishop back to Canterbury?

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

4. What, according to the First Tempter, "should be more than biting Time can sever?"

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why would Becket say this is his last sermon?

2. As Becket is being slaughtered, the Chorus speaks. What the the main idea behind their speech?

3. 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?

4. How does the Chorus perceive the actions of the play and its part in it?

5. How does Becket believe man can "mourn and rejoice at once for the same reason?"

6. What is Becket's relationship to his congregation?

7. How do the Four Tempters describe life?

8. Taking into consideration the many opportunities to escape his fate, his many followers begging him to change course, and Becket's own prideful nature, why would Becket choose the path of martyrdom?

9. Why do the Priests continually attempt to save Becket from the Knights even after orders from him to allow fate to take its course?

10. What does Becket ask his flock to remember?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Fear is a powerful tool that many characters in the play use to get what they want. The last word comes from the Chorus which states that it fears the love of God. How is fear used in the play? 1) Choose instances in which characters express fear and describe what are they afraid of. Is Eliot trying to make a social point, or is it something more simple?

2) Choose an example of something you've witnessed in your own life in which you or someone else was too afraid to act. It may be from a social situation, religious or political dominance, etc. Compare it to Eliot's examples.

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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