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. 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 serves as a sort of guide and narrator throughout the play.

Part 1) Why does Eliot make the Chorus a group of women? How does this create a different dramatic effect from a male chorus?

Part 2) Describe which social group the Chorus represents and why that is important to its purpose in the plot.

Part 3) What is the Chorus' relationship to Becket and why is that important to their relationship to the audience (the reader)? Is the Chorus a surrogate for us?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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