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

3. Why does Beckett tell the people that he may never preach to them again?

4. What would Beckett have the congregation do?

5. What literary tool does T.S. Eliot use throughout the Interlude?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Part II, the Fourth Knight states that "there are times when violence is the only way social justice can be secured." They have just killed an important political figure to bring about what they perceive to be order, and they believe it to be justified.

1) Can you see the Knight's point of view on this matter? Explain why they may or may not be justified in their actions.

2) Use an important historic event that you believe parallels the Knights belief. Look at the details of such events as the 1968 Democratic National Convention or the Rodney King riots. You may even use examples of executions and the death penalty (i.e. The hanging of Saddam Hussein). Compare your example to that of the murder of Thomas Becket. Looking at your evidence, do you believe that violence can bring about a peaceful end?

Essay Topic 2

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?"

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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