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. According to Beckett's speech, what was the fate of the disciples?

2. Who might be the least likely character to show up to Beckett's sermon?

3. In what year does the Interlude take place?

4. Knowing what you know about the situation Beckett is in and his character traits, what might be the most likely way to describe Beckett's state of being after his last speech to his flock?

5. What does Beckett ask the audience to remember about Christmas mass?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

From the beginning of Murder in the Cathedral, we are told of the monotonous and rather unfulfilled lives that are led by the women of Canterbury. In one instance we are told that they believe they are "living and party living." 1) How is the return of Thomas Becket to Canterbury a good thing for its people? What can he offer them that they have been missing in their lives? 2) How does Becket's return affect them negatively? 3) Using examples from the text, how can monotony be a good thing? How is it bad?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Look at one of T.S. Eliot's most famous poems, The Hollow Men ( Found online at Read it several times. Now search through Murder in the Cathedral and choose one of the Chorus' speeches. Compare and contrast Eliot's writing style, elements and themes in his works. What are some of the poetic tools Eliot repeats in his monologues? How are the rhythms the same? How are they different?

(see the answer keys)

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