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 position did Becket resign when he was made Archbishop?

2. How does the Third Tempter describe himself?

3. What does Beckett claim the Fourth Tempter offers?

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

5. What does Becket claim is the "substance of our first act?"

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Becket ask his flock to remember?

3. Looking at the Interlude, how was the Fourth Tempter successful? How was he unsuccessful in his aims?

4. 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?

5. What is the Interlude?

6. How long has Thomas Becket been away from Canterbury? Why has he chosen to stay away for so long?

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

8. What seems to be Becket's hubris that many characters mention and the Tempters attempt to play upon?

9. Why does Becket tell the Chorus to be at peace as they lament and ask for forgiveness?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 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

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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