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. What is not one of the topics of Beckett's sermon in the Interlude?

2. What is NOT one of the things that Beckett says they rejoice in?

3. What is the best way to describe what Beckett seems to feel for his congregation?

4. What does Beckett believe about the peace that the world was promised?

5. Whose idea is being echoed when Beckett talks of the promise of peace being "a disappointment and a cheat?"

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 Interlude serves the important role of allowing the reader to see Beckett's point of view on martyrdom. His sermon argues the importance of martyrs in society and why he understands God's plan in the sacrifices they have made.

1) Study Becket's arguments carefully. Does he seem absolutely certain of his own death?

2) Why does Becket feel he will prove to be a martyr to his people if he dies?

3) Why does Becket seem to accept his fate so readily?

4) Conclude why Becket chose to use his last sermon to explain his actions (i.e. accepting his fate).

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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