Murder in the Cathedral - Act 1 Summary & Analysis

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Act 1 Summary

The first act opens with a chorus of women from Canterbury lamenting the fact that the disagreements between King Henry II and Archbishop Thomas a Becket have led their Archbishop to seek safety and assistance in France for seven years. "Seven years," they say, "and the summer is over." They carry on about how peasants do best when left alone, since they are unable to influence politics, and are just out to make a living as a farmer, or a merchant. They say that Becket's absence has not been bad for them when left alone, but that they like him because he was always good to them when he was in Canterbury. Still, they hope that he does not come back because they fear for his safety. They then talk about the cold dark winter ahead.

Following the Chorus, three priests also lament...

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This section contains 4,258 words
(approx. 11 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Murder in the Cathedral Study Guide
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Murder in the Cathedral from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.