Murder in the Cathedral Essay

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McGill explicates the role of the chorus in Eliot's play, discussing how their choral speeches enhance the poet/playwright's language and the overall tone of the drama. The critic dissects several of the speeches to prove his point.

In staging T. S. Eliot's poetic drama Murder in the Cathedral, one of the principal technical and artistic-interpretive problems involves the presentation of the choral speeches. Textually they appear as odes with no specific instructions to indicate differentiation of voices. But the first staging of the play set the precedent for assigning parts within the choral odes to individual voices or varying ensembles. The decision is in part a musical one, involving an assessment of the voices available and an orchestration of those voices to produce a pattern of sound that enhances the aural effect of the language. Obviously, however, the arrangement of voices must also relate to the thematic...

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This section contains 2,078 words
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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.