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 the chorus define its time in Canterbury since the Archbishop left seven years previous?

2. Why does Beckett believe that the local bishops would not support a power move like regaining his Chancellorship?

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

4. What is not one of the events of the past seven years that the Chorus describes?

5. How many visitors did Beckett expect?

Short Essay Questions

1. According to Becket, how do we define peace?

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

3. Why does the Third Tempter state that joining forces with the barony would be a good idea?

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

5. What is the opinion of the Messenger of the relationship between the King and the Archbishop?

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

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

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

9. Describe how the town of Canterbury feels about Becket's return and why.

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

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 Interlude serves the important role of allowing the reader to see Beckett's point of view on martyrdom. His sermon argues the importance of martyrs in society and why he understands God's plan in the sacrifices they have made.

1) Study Becket's arguments carefully. Does he seem absolutely certain of his own death?

2) Why does Becket feel he will prove to be a martyr to his people if he dies?

3) Why does Becket seem to accept his fate so readily?

4) Conclude why Becket chose to use his last sermon to explain his actions (i.e. accepting his fate).

(see the answer keys)

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