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 ruler of England does the Second Priest refer to as "the stubborn King?"

2. Fill in the blank: "I leave you to the pleasure of your __________, Which will have to be paid for at ______________."

3. What does Beckett believe to be the last temptation and what he fears the most?

4. What is the first word that Becket speaks on his first entrance?

5. What are the priests eager to know once the Messenger has delivered his initial message?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the part of King Henry II in the play and what is his relationship with Becket?

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

3. Was Thomas Becket prepared for his temptations?

4. What is one of Becket's rebuttals of the charges against him?

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

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

7. Why does Becket believe it is appropriate to celebrate the martyr, Stephen, the day after Christmas?

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

9. Taking into consideration the many opportunities to escape his fate, his many followers begging him to change course, and Becket's own prideful nature, why would Becket choose the path of martyrdom?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Fear is a powerful tool that many characters in the play use to get what they want. The last word comes from the Chorus which states that it fears the love of God. How is fear used in the play? 1) Choose instances in which characters express fear and describe what are they afraid of. Is Eliot trying to make a social point, or is it something more simple?

2) Choose an example of something you've witnessed in your own life in which you or someone else was too afraid to act. It may be from a social situation, religious or political dominance, etc. Compare it to Eliot's examples.

Essay Topic 2

Look at one of T.S. Eliot's most famous poems, The Hollow Men ( Found online at http://poetry.poetryx.com/poems/784/). Read it several times. Now search through Murder in the Cathedral and choose one of the Chorus' speeches. Compare and contrast Eliot's writing style, elements and themes in his works. What are some of the poetic tools Eliot repeats in his monologues? How are the rhythms the same? How are they different?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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