Murder in the Cathedral



Murder in the Cathedral

I believe the conflict and change within the main character, Thomas Beckett, was very
drastic. Thomas went from running away from his problems, to facing them and ultimate killing
himself because of it. At the beginning of the play Thomas was running away from people that
wanted to kill him or hurt him, because of his belief that the king didn’t have power over the
church. Throughout the play, Thomas questioned himself on why he was doing what he was
doing, and in the end he decided that if death was coming he couldn’t cheat it. I admire Thomas
on how made his final decision based on what he truly believed. Thomas’s final decision, was
what he believed in. I think that if he was content with his decision and if he felt that it was the
best choice, than I am happy for him and don’t disagree that he should have waited for the
knights to calm down.
I think that the personification of the Tempters helped a great deal in the play. I feel that
the tempters helped the reader understand why Thomas did what he did and they also helped the
reader understand and put Thomas thoughts in order of importance to him. I liked it how they
described how Thomas could have so much and be happy if he would just go along with the king,
instead of against him. I feel that without the tempters, the play wouldn’t have shown the reader
the reason behind Thomas’s decisions.
I feel that the significance of the Christmas Sermon was to tell the people that he would
probably be leaving them and it would be his last sermon. Thomas talked about how a martyr is
a special thing and that only special people that will remembered forever receive that great honor.
To me, it seemed as though he thought maybe he would be a martyr or that he might not because
of his reasons behind the decisions he made, either way he wanted the people to remember him.
I think that the reason why the playwright chose not to have the king appear, is because
there was no real need for him. The kings thoughts and decisions were well spoken by other
people that relayed messages for the king. Whatever the king wanted said or done, he could and
would have others do it for him. I don’t think that it would be believable for the king to visit
Thomas, either. I think that a king wouldn’t be dumb enough to go out among people that loved
Thomas and confront him.
I think that the chorus was very important, because they predicted the future. Like at the
beginning, when they said someone will die and that the people did fine without Thomas. Also,
toward the end of the play, they also foresee Thomas’s death in the cathedral. Without the
chorus, I think things would definitely have come as a shock to the reader and there would have
been more to question. Overall, the chorus did help set some scenes up, but I think the play may
have been more interesting without them.
I think the reason for the knights explanation was very simple, to protect themselves and
to help the reader understand that it was not necessarily a good thing they did even if it was their
job. I also feel that they did it to explain that it was, in some ways, good for the people also. His
death would bring everything divided together, because there would not be anyone against the
kings plan. The knights also explained to the people that Thomas had a chance for a good life
and harmony, but he through it away. They tell the people that Thomas is the one that messed
with the harmony and changed things for the worse.
Overall, I liked the play, but as I said earlier, it was to predictable and they almost told
you what was going to happen before it did. I liked it how Thomas stuck to his beliefs and based
his decisions on what he thought was right, no matter what happened. Finally, I also liked it,
because it showed me why church and state should be separated. It put it into perspective and
proved that it isn’t a good idea. I think this story should be used as an example in history classes
when discussing the separation of church