The Death Of The Cathedral By Eliot

1544 Words Aug 6th, 2014 7 Pages
In the play Murder in the Cathedral, Eliot depicts the controversial return of Thomas Becket to Canterbury and his subsequent murder. However, the Chorus conveys most of the play’s drama in their speeches. The Chorus narrates Becket’s journey in Part I of the play and comments on their concern his return will likely have on their own lives. After Becket declares he is prepared to be a martyr as willed by God at the end of Part I, his murder in Part II loses the element of surprise. Instead, Eliot pursues the dynamic development of the Chorus in Part II. When the Chorus bears witness to Becket’s murder, they come to terms with their involvement in his sacrifice and are tasked with validating his martyrdom. Although Becket’s journey is essentially complete with his murder, Eliot’s Part II follows the transformation of the Chorus and their acceptance of the spiritual order in response to Becket’s martyrdom; they recognize their limited gratification in life, assume their responsibility in confronting the world, and elicit Becket’s help to make themselves instruments of God.
To begin with, the Chorus recognizes the threat Becket’s looming martyrdom poses to their limited gratification in life. In Part I, the Chorus expresses their preference for a life that is “living and partly living”, a life of concern only for their earthly survival. However, Becket’s readiness to for self-sacrifice threatens to destroy their complacency. Elliot opens Part II with the Chorus’s speech in…

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