Homework Help

Discuss 'Martyrdom' as the central theme of the play ,'Murder in the cathedral'.

user profile pic

madhulikam3 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 23, 2009 at 8:44 PM via web

dislike 0 like

Discuss 'Martyrdom' as the central theme of the play ,'Murder in the cathedral'.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted November 23, 2009 at 10:49 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 3 like

Martyrdom is undoubtably a central theme in 'Murder in The Cathedral' by T.S. Eliot. Before beginning any assignment on a theme, be sure you know what the terms mean. A martyr is someone who is willing to endure death rather than renounce beliefs or religion. Martyrdom takes this one step further - it is the state of someone who has died for their faith and who has often built up an 'aura' of heroism because of that. Many martyrs are 'prayed to' particularly in the Christian faiths as 'saints.' Thomas Becket's murder and his status as martyr has dominated King Henry 11 of England's reign for us as well as the contempoary peoples of the time. The trouble with disposing of so-called 'trouble-makers' in this way has always been and still is a headache for world leaders and politicians, monarchies. This is because, in dispensing with one 'snake' a hundred more sometimes grow to take thier place as feelings of injustice and victimisation run high. Instead of going out, the spark of whatever unrest is present grows - sometimes into cult proportions. Look through the work and historical writings for the causes and consequences for Henry and the Pope  of Becket's martyrdom.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes