Murder in the Cathedral Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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 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

In Part II, the Fourth Knight states that "there are times when violence is the only way social justice can be secured." They have just killed an important political figure to bring about what they perceive to be order, and they believe it to be justified.

1) Can you see the Knight's point of view on this matter? Explain why they may or may not be justified in their actions.

2) Use an important historic event that you believe parallels the Knights belief. Look at the details of such events as the 1968 Democratic National Convention or the Rodney King riots. You may even use examples of executions and the death penalty (i.e. The hanging of Saddam Hussein). Compare your example to that of the murder of Thomas Becket. Looking at your evidence, do you believe that violence can bring about a peaceful end?

Essay Topic 3

The Chorus seems to believe in a "Void." They believe that God's judgment will lead Becket to this Void rather than a peaceful afterlife. The Fourth Knights insists that Becket commits suicide. Using examples from the text, argue whether or not you believe that Becket's actions, which he knew would lead to murder, were justified and moral. Consider: if Becket coordinated his own death, could he still bring about the order he believes martyrdom will bring about? By the end of the play, is he still doing "the right deed for the wrong reason?"

(see the answer keys)

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