Murder in the Cathedral Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. From what Gospel does Beckett quote in the opening of his sermon?

2. What, according to Beckett, is reenacted during Mass?

3. How was the Tempter unsuccessful?

4. At what time of day does the sermon take place?

5. What, according to Beckett, is celebrated that day?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

From the moment the play opens, there is an ominous approaching event that culminates in the murder of Thomas Becket. Throughout the play, several characters continue to foreshadow Becket's murder, including Becket himself.

1) Cite several examples of foreshadowing from the text and describe the importance of this as a tool of the plot and the building of characters.

2) Do you believe that knowing about the death of Thomas Becket from the beginning lessens the effectiveness of the climax or strengthens it? Do you believe Eliot's choice made Murder in the Cathedral an effective story?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Becket once enjoyed the perks of exercising power in a major political office. One of Becket's major vices is his pride. By his entrance into the world of Murder in the Cathedral, Becket forgoes secular power to the power of the Church's law, the law of the Pope and the law of God. A major theme throughout Murder in the Cathedral is the Battle between the church and the state.

1) Using examples from the text, how did King Henry II and Thomas Becket conjoin politics and religion? How effective were their actions?

2) Historically, what are some examples of the politics of government interfering in the affairs of the church (and vice versa)? Compare these examples to the themes of the play.

(see the answer keys)

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