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. According to the information in the opening monologue, how many years have passed since the Archbishop has left the city?

2. How does the Fourth Tempter claim Beckett can have ultimate glory and power over the King of England?

3. What does the First Tempter tell Becket he remembers?

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

5. In Part One, where does the action of the play take place?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do the Knights taunt Becket upon their entrance into the Cathedral?

2. What does Becket mean when he states to the Priests, "The moment foreseen may be unexpected when it arrives?"

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

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

5. What is the Interlude?

6. What is life like for the Chorus of women in Canterbury?

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

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

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

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

There are many references to the broken relationship between Becket and King Henry II. What was their personal and political relationship like before their falling out? What were Becket's crimes against the monarchy, and what did Henry do to instigate them? What has their relationship consisted of since Becket returned to England? How have they changed? Use examples from the text to back your assertions.

a) Using what you know about the two characters, whose side would you back based on your own political and spiritual outlook? Why?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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