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 might the public react this way?

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

3. What would be the most likely reaction of the Canterbury people that this is Beckett's last sermon?

4. What would Beckett have the congregation do?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Study the dialogue between the Four Tempters and Becket carefully. Not only does each Tempter have something very different to offer Becket, but they all have different tactics they use to get Becket on their side. Compare and contrast the different aims of the Tempters, their tactics, even the personality traits they put forth to successfully coerce Becket. Explain how each was effective/ineffective in conjunction with Becket's needs and his moral code.

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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