Murder in the Cathedral is a historical book that introduces readers to the clash between Thomas Becket and King Henry 2. The plot explores themes of political and religious differences, sacrifice, and sheer resistance.
I will share the following information related to this play in this article.
- Themes Explored
Readers have appreciated this play because of its historical context. It was written and published by T.S. Eliot back in 1935. The setting of the story takes place in the year 1170 in England.
- The author has received many literary awards because of his outrageous works. He had collected the Nobel Prize in 1948.
I had found these two as the main characters:
He was one of the influential archbishops in the 12th century. He was even appointed as chancellor to King Henry 2 but he had some clashes with King. He was against the royal control over the church.
King Henry 2
One of England’s kings who ruled between 1154 to 1189. Judicial stability was reformed during his tenure.
Murder in the Cathedral Summary
The play holds in-depth information about the historical event. The main plot consists of a conflict between Thomas Becket and King Henry 2. “The story begins with a group of church women called the Chorus, discussing Thomas Becket.” He moved out of England seven years ago because of a conflict with the King. He had served as an Archbishop as well as chancellor to the king.
The talks were about his arrival. Priests predicted the outcomes of Thomas’s arrival in the church. Suddenly, a messenger came to them. He announced that Thomas Becket was coming to Canterbury after seven years. He was in France in those years. A group of tempters welcomed him. They were a total of four. One advised Thomas to neutralize his relationship with the King. One advised to serve humanity. The last one advised him to ace martyrdom. This will enhance his stardom. Thomas rejected all suggestions.
If you read this play, you will find it like a movie. It has two parts with an interval. The interval involves Thomas delivering speeches to Church members. He advised them to face suffering for God. They should focus on religious empowerment. The full sermon is in the play. I give a short overview.
Thomas also told people that this sermon would be his last. After the sermon. four knights came on the order of the king. They were going to murder Thomas. In the start, priests resisted them from entering the church. Later, Thomas ordered them to let everyone enter the church. The soldiers attacked Thomas and he died.
The play ends sadly. All of the members were mourning over Thomas’s death. The soldiers told the reason for finishing Thomas. They shared King’s remarks. The priest was praying for the soldier’s mistake.
This play introduced the conflict that happened between Thomas and Henry 2. Thomas served as an Archbishop, it’s the highest authority in church management. He underwent a harsh clash with King Henry 2. The reason was the differences in their political and religious ideologies.
- It seems the reason for the clash was the involvement of the Monarch in church matters. Further, some judicial thoughts led to the severity of the clash.
The major themes are:
It’s the main reason behind the historical conflict. Thomas did not want the King to interfere or show his power in church matters. This thing escalated their clash.
Thomas stuck to his beliefs. He was willing to sacrifice his life for church rules and principles and he did it.
Thomas’s character emphasizes and portrays his loyalty to his faith.
Through this play, you will get to know that sometimes your faith, belief, and goals need sacrifice and you have to do it.
- I have concluded these symbols:
It presents a place that has spiritual significance.
It represents a group of people.
They highlight the execution of the king’s order. It represents brutality.
The Murder in the Cathedral was a fascinating book. This will provide a historical overview with themes of faith and sacrifice.
- The writing style was wonderful having depth of historical representation.
- I loved this play by T.S. Eliot. Research shows the play has gathered good reviews from reviewers.
Conclusion: T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral Summary
In a nutshell, The Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot involves the conflict between Thomas Becket and King Henry 2. The conflict was on a religious and political basis that turned out lethal. The play revealed themes of power, greed, and sacrifice.
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