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 Third Tempter describe himself?

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

3. What is it that the Second Tempter offers Becket?

4. What month does the Second Tempter say Beckett will have power?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. After the temptations, what do the Priests want Becket to do? Why?

4. What is the meaning of the urgency behind the Knight's demands upon entering the scene?

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

6. What is the tone of the Chorus' "death-bringers" speech after the Knights exit for the first time?

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

8. How does the Chorus feel about Becket's return to England?

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

10. Why would Becket say this is his last sermon?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

From the beginning of Murder in the Cathedral, we are told of the monotonous and rather unfulfilled lives that are led by the women of Canterbury. In one instance we are told that they believe they are "living and party living."

1) How is the return of Thomas Becket to Canterbury a good thing for its people? What can he offer them that they have been missing in their lives?

2) How does Becket's return affect them negatively?

3) Using examples from the text, how can monotony be a good thing? How is it bad?

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

Choose two of the characters from the play excluding Becket. Compare and contrast the following aspects of the characters:

Part 1) Their social standing.

Part 2) Their political views.

Part 3) Their religious beliefs.

Now describe how these traits affect their opinion of Becket and his actions in the play. How are their opinions different? How are they similar?

(see the answer keys)

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