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. Who states that "Power is present. Holiness hereafter?"

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

3. What does the Messenger call the relationship between the King and the Archbishop?

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

5. What does the Chorus claim is their purpose in the action of the play?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Becket decide to do by the end of Part I?

4. What is a literary tool that Becket uses in writing the interlude?

5. In his address to the audience, the Third Knight claims that they are "perfectly disinterested." What does he mean?

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

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

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

9. What happens when the Priests enter at the beginning of Part II to change the ambiance of the play? Do you believe it is effective?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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).

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Study the dialogue between the Four Tempters and Becket carefully. Not only does each Tempter have something very different to offer Becket, but they all have different tactics they use to get Becket on their side. Compare and contrast the different aims of the Tempters, their tactics, even the personality traits they put forth to successfully coerce Becket. Explain how each was effective/ineffective in conjunction with Becket's needs and his moral code.

(see the answer keys)

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