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 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.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

The Chorus seems to believe in a "Void." They believe that God's judgment will lead Becket to this Void rather than a peaceful afterlife. The Fourth Knights insists that Becket commits suicide. Using examples from the text, argue whether or not you believe that Becket's actions, which he knew would lead to murder, were justified and moral. Consider: if Becket coordinated his own death, could he still bring about the order he believes martyrdom will bring about? By the end of the play, is he still doing "the right deed for the wrong reason?"

(see the answer keys)

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