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. How was the Tempter unsuccessful?

2. On what date does the Interlude take place?

3. What is NOT a reason that Beckett gives for God choosing to have martyrs?

4. Which Biblical story does Beckett mention?

5. Who was NOT mentioned in Beckett's sermon?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Fear is a powerful tool that many characters in the play use to get what they want. The last word comes from the Chorus which states that it fears the love of God. How is fear used in the play? 1) Choose instances in which characters express fear and describe what are they afraid of. Is Eliot trying to make a social point, or is it something more simple?

2) Choose an example of something you've witnessed in your own life in which you or someone else was too afraid to act. It may be from a social situation, religious or political dominance, etc. Compare it to Eliot's examples.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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