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. At what time of day does the sermon take place?

2. What is NOT one of the ways Beckett defines peace?

3. To Beckett, what is martyrdom?

4. Out of the following choices, which would be the least likely reason behind the sermon?

5. Defined by Beckett, who was the first martyr whose sacrifice is celebrated the day after Christmas?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Choose two of the characters from the play excluding Becket. Compare and contrast the following aspects of the characters:

Part 1) Their social standing.

Part 2) Their political views.

Part 3) Their religious beliefs.

Now describe how these traits affect their opinion of Becket and his actions in the play. How are their opinions different? How are they similar?

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

The Chorus seems to believe in a "Void." They believe that God's judgment will lead Becket to this Void rather than a peaceful afterlife. The Fourth Knights insists that Becket commits suicide. Using examples from the text, argue whether or not you believe that Becket's actions, which he knew would lead to murder, were justified and moral. Consider: if Becket coordinated his own death, could he still bring about the order he believes martyrdom will bring about? By the end of the play, is he still doing "the right deed for the wrong reason?"

(see the answer keys)

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