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. Why was the Tempter successful?

2. What are the words Beckett quotes from the Bible?

3. What does Beckett see himself as, in reference to his definitions of martyrdom?

4. What is one of the reasons Beckett would allow himself to be killed?

5. Who is the only one who can bring Beckett peace?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

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 3

The Interlude is the sermon Becket gives on Christmas Day. He says it may be his last.

1) Who is this sermon directed to? What is his relationship to them?

2) What is the main argument of his speech and what are the points that lead up to his conclusion?

3) What is the purpose of this final sermon? What does he want from the audience? How does he make it an effective speech?

(see the answer keys)

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