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 Chorus, what does the Archbishop bring into Canterbury?

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

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

4. What is the feeling of the general public in regard to the Archbishop's return?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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 opinion of the Messenger of the relationship between the King and the Archbishop?

6. How does Becket believe a martyr should be defined?

7. What story does Becket tell about Christmas Day? Why is it important?

8. Who does the Fourth Knight believe truly killed Thomas Becket? What is his proof that this is true?

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

10. How does Becket get the Priests to unbar the door and allow the Knights to enter?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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 play centers around the struggle between King Henry and the Archbishop Thomas Becket. How does the struggle between spiritual power and secular power represent the battle between the King and the Archbishop? Describe a personal or national issue in which you saw a struggle between religion and politics.

(see the answer keys)

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