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

2. What is one thing the Third Tempter and his party want from Beckett?

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

4. What does the Chorus claim is their purpose in the action of the play?

5. What does the First Tempter tell Becket he remembers?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is a method that Becket uses to outline his sermon in the Interlude?

3. What does Becket decide to do by the end of Part I?

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

5. Before Becket is dragged to the altar by the Three Priests, he seems at peace. How is this possible?

6. What is the Interlude?

7. After the temptations, what do the Chorus want Becket to do? Why?

8. What are the tactics that Eliot writes into the speech of the Second Knight to persuade the audience to see their point of view?

9. What is the initial and more general accusation the Knights' hold against the Archbishop?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The three Priests have been without the Archbishop's leadership for seven years. His return is important to their spiritual well-being.

Part 1) What is the Priests' outlook on Becket's return? What is the opinion of the First Priest? The Second? The Third?

Part 2) Compare the similarities and differences between the individual opinions of the Priests and that of Becket's in regard to his return. What viewpoints do these people represent?

Part 3) Describe how Becket's return was important to these three men and how it reflects the needs of the community of Canterbury as a whole. What is his relationship to this group?

Essay Topic 2

Study the dialogue between the Four Tempters and Becket carefully. Not only does each Tempter have something very different to offer Becket, but they all have different tactics they use to get Becket on their side. Compare and contrast the different aims of the Tempters, their tactics, even the personality traits they put forth to successfully coerce Becket. Explain how each was effective/ineffective in conjunction with Becket's needs and his moral code.

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the following topics:

A) Eliot uses metaphor heavily in this script, especially in comparing people to animals. Choose five examples of this in the script, cite them, and explain why you believe it was effective or ineffective to the characters and the plot as a whole.

B) Evocative imagery is a major component in the dialogue, especially when the Chorus speaks. Look at the Chorus' "death-bringer" speech (p. 66). In it, Eliot uses the idea of the five senses to create images for the reader/audience. Why would he use the five senses to aid in his imagery? Do you believe Eliot used it efficiently?

(see the answer keys)

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