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 Chorus often references their inability to act. At one point during their speech regarding the "death-bringers", they even go so far as to use words like "mastered," "subdued" and "violated." How does the chorus tie the idea of helplessness to the idea of being violated?

1) Do you believe Eliot illustrates a feminist or anti-feminist perspective in the characterization of the Chorus and their words?

2) Cite examples from the Chorus' speeches. What maintains their subordination throughout the play?

3) How do these women reflect our feelings as an audience?

Essay Topic 2

There are many references to "The wheel" in Murder in the Cathedral. Much lore from Ancient Greece and the Middle ages reference the wheel when speaking of a wheel turning as a metaphor of man's fate, fortune and predestination.

1) What part does Becket believe Fate and Destiny play in the final days of his life?

2) How much of this is God's work according to Becket? What are Becket's feeling towards God's actions?

3) What do you believe? It is fate or chance that helped play out Becket's final days as illustrated in Murder in the Cathedral? Feel free to use examples from your own encounters with what you believe to be fate.

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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