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 one of the reasons Beckett would allow himself to be killed?

2. Why does Beckett believe the thought of the angels bringing peace is strange?

3. How does Beckett feel about martyrs?

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

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

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

There are many references to the broken relationship between Becket and King Henry II. What was their personal and political relationship like before their falling out? What were Becket's crimes against the monarchy, and what did Henry do to instigate them? What has their relationship consisted of since Becket returned to England? How have they changed? Use examples from the text to back your assertions.

a) Using what you know about the two characters, whose side would you back based on your own political and spiritual outlook? Why?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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