Analysis Of Murder In The Cathedral

2056 words - 8 pages

Murder in the Cathedral is a two-part, verse drama, tragedy play written in 1935 by Thomas Stearns Eliot, also known by his pen name as T. S. Eliot. It joined many similar writings in the year of 1170 when Archbishop Thomas á Becket was assassinated in the cathedral at Canterbury by four knights ordered by King Henry II following Becket’s rejection of the King’s new marriage (Trudeau 2). Eliot’s most famous works including The Waste Land (1922) and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915) were in the past, and a new style of writing would emerge from the more pensive, older Eliot. This type of writing revolved around Christianity and religion, and included mostly plays that lacked the quality of his world-renowned poems. Eliot’s impact on twentieth-century literature is undeniably one of great magnitude; however, Murder in the Cathedral, while still laudable and celebrated among its peers, marked the beginning of the end of his reputable and impressive career.
T. S. Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1888 as the youngest of seven children. His father was president of the Hydraulic Brick Press Company, his mother a teacher, social worker, and writer (Trudeau 1). Despite his family’s strict religious beliefs, Eliot grew up a skeptic and an agnostic. Soon he left his hometown to attend Harvard University, studying French literature and philosophy. After a graduate school at several universities, a failed marriage, a nervous breakdown, and the publishing of his most famous work The Waste Land, Eliot made some major changes. He transferred to Anglicanism and became a British citizen, both possibly being big reasons for his change in writing style (Trudeau 1). Eliot died in 1965 of emphysema.
Eliot’s grandfather was a Unitarian priest who strongly believed in the Christian ideals and tradition set forward by his church. He also focused on the importance and praise of martyrs who would give up their life to defend what they believe in. He once said in a sermon, “The blood of the martyr is the seed not only of the Church, but of truth and liberty” (Clark 2). This admiration for martyrs may have been the inspiration for the young T. S. Eliot to eventually write Murder in the Cathedral and address the deliberation Becket faces in Part I about his upcoming inevitable martyrdom.
The Catholic Church commissioned Eliot in 1935 to write a play for Kent’s annual Canterbury festival. Without many restrictions on his writing, he decided to honor the most famous Canterbury saint, Thomas Becket. It would be directed and produced by E. Martin Browne, who directed Eliot’s last play, The Rock (1934). It debuted in the Chapter House of the Canterbury Cathedral, and was then moved to the Mercury Theatre in Notting Hill Gate in London where it was featured for several months. Today, many movies have been made based on this play, several of which were award winning. This was not the first production of Thomas Becket’s assassination though, and it wouldn’t be...

Find Another Essay On Analysis of Murder in the Cathedral

The Character of the Husband in Raymond Carver's Story Cathedral

1146 words - 5 pages The Character of the Husband in Raymond Carver's Story "Cathedral" In Raymond Carver's "Cathedral," the husband's view of blind men is changed when he encounters his wife's long time friend, Robert. His narrow minded views and prejudice thoughts of one stereotype are altered by a single experience he has with Robert. The husband is changed when he thinks he personally sees the blind man's world. Somehow, the blind man breaks through all

Analysis of The Hanged Man's Bride, The Trial for Murder and Confession Found in a Prison

3638 words - 15 pages Analysis of The Hanged Man's Bride, The Trial for Murder and Confession Found in a Prison Introduction Based on my study of Charles Dickens, I have decided to focus upon three short stories to write about in detail. These are: The Hanged Man's Bride, written in 1860, The Trial For Murder, written in 1865 and Confession Found in a Prison, written in 1842. To enable me to understand the stories better and also Dicken's

Analysis of Main Characters in Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

1061 words - 4 pages jail. She is trying to hide from that because people thinks that she did kill Rachett. Count Andrenyi is the husband of Countess Andrenyi he tried to take her place in the murder, and helped her hide her identity, and because he is doing that he is becoming a defensive man. I put a man who is confused, and in the picture it is saying, “What should I do?” He is trying to help his wife hides her identity, and he took the blame for her. Cyrus

Desensitization of Murder in The Lottery

1063 words - 4 pages On the Desensitization of Murder in The Lottery When someone is a part of or witnesses any one thing enough times, that person will become desensitized to it, whether it is gradually accepting abortion, homosexuality or anything else for that matter. People can even become accustomed to violent murder if it is ingrained into their lives enough. Take the Einsatzgruppen (Nazi Officers that were partly responsible for the death of millions) The

The Importance of Duncan’s Murder in Macbeth

3122 words - 12 pages The Importance of Duncan’s Murder in Macbeth         In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the repercussions of Macbeth murdering his King are very numerous. Through themes that include, imagery, soliloquies, atmosphere, and supernatural beings, Shakespeare enforces the magnitude of Macbeth’s crime. Most of these factors are linked together. One of the main ways in which the horror of the murder is underlined is through the Great Chain of Being

Understanding Blindness: An Analysis of Cathedral

1263 words - 5 pages reflected in his writing. These writings were often depressing, dreary and ended abruptly, seeming to leave readers unfulfilled. The "Cathedral" marked the turning point and beginning of his second life. Alcohol free, Carver had a new life and was amazed at the clearness his world began to take on; he began to see things in a new light. He struggled to show that imagination was a means of speaking through his writing that was now fuller and more

Murder in the First

877 words - 4 pages of the countries in the world have abolished capital punishment is an amazing leap in human evolution (Death Penalty Facts, 2012). In 2010 the massive majority of all the generally recognized executions were held in only five countries, China, North Korea, Iran, Yemen, and The United States (Death Penalty Facts, 2012). Since 1977, seventy-seven percent of the death row defendants were executed for the murder of Caucasian citizens, even though

Murder in the Bible

5887 words - 24 pages Murder in the Bible The act of murder is rampant in the Bible. In much of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, there are laws that command that people be killed for absurd reasons such as working on the Sabbath, being gay, cursing your parents, or not being a virgin on your wedding night. In addition to these crazy and immoral laws, there are plenty of examples of God's irrationality by his direct killing of many people for

Murder in the Ranks

832 words - 4 pages It was winter, the year was 1934 a layer of white cover the German country side in its freezing grip. A grey, chilled rifle barrel protruded through the long yellow grass, at the end of the rifle lay a bush in the shape of a man. It was Corporal Benjamin Geoffrey’s, he was one of Britain’s royal military snipers sent with his spotter Corporal James Winter to eliminate a high value target in the German ranks. Their mission was as simple as locate

Description of Saint Paul's Cathedral in England

995 words - 4 pages caught my eye. I couldn’t help noticing their beauty, as I looked upward. The doorway to the cathedral resembled an enormous Indian arrowhead. There were sculptures lining the inner arches of the doorways. Each sculpture was done so intricately it looked as if it was the sculptor’s crowning achievement. On the outer edge were carvings of angels all the way to the top. Each one stacked above the other and all in different poses. Just to the

Two Levels of Meaning in Carver’s Cathedral

1076 words - 4 pages . Two Levels of Meaning in Cathedral   The short story "Cathedral" by Raymond Carver develops characters with a dualistic depth. On the surface they have believable human attitudes and attributes, but there is also a level functioning that offers another interpretation. Carver is not only creating a realistic human picture, he uses the old story of the "deliverer" and reworks it into something unique, fresh. He takes the

Similar Essays

Murder In The Cathedral Essay

2436 words - 10 pages the Noble Peace Prize of Literature in 1948. “Murder In The Cathedral” is one of the most famous Eliot’s works. In order to grasp the idea of the play, the readers should know the history of the main character- Thomas Becket. He is the Archbishop in the Canterbury cathedral and he embroiled in a bitter dispute with King Henry II for the rights of the Church in England. After his graduation, Thomas became archdeacon in Canterbury. As such, he

Analysis Of Cathedral

1117 words - 5 pages In the beginning of the story, the narrator feels very uncomfortable knowing that he will soon have to accommodate a visitor, But not just any Visitor, Robert her blind friend. The Narrator and his wife were discussing the fact that she had invited Robert to visit. She worked for Robert ten years ago. Although, the Narrator agreed to the visit, he still expressed how it felt to know that his wife had shared intimate details about

Analysis Of Raymond Carver's Cathedral

791 words - 3 pages ’s Cathedral is a story about the blind leading the blind for ignorance is a sort of blindness as it isolates one from the rest of the world and others’ emotions.To begin with, in order to prove that Cathedral is a story about the blind leading the blind, explaining how the narrator is blind is crucial. We can claim that he is “blind” in his own way because he has limited understanding of others’ realities. He knows only

Analysis Of Raymond Carver's "Cathedral"

1128 words - 5 pages from the narrator represent his new found connection with Robert. He is now trying to help Robert and relate to him rather than suffer him. The narrator is honestly trying his hardest to help Robert understand what a Cathedral is in visual terms. The narrator then thinks how "It was like nothing else in my life up to now" (114). While doing this, the narrator furthers his stage of empathy with Robert.The final stage of transformation is when the