The sixteenth-century Morality Play Everyman (1500) was admired by Eliot for its versification, which he imitated in his play. A reader of Murder in the Cathedral will also immediately note the ways in which Eliot appropriated this play's use of symbolic characters (such as Death, Kindred, and Beauty) as the Three Tempters in his own work.
John Milton's Samson Agonistes (1671) is, like Eliot's play, a religious drama in verse. The play examines the captivity of Samson (the Biblical hero) among the Philistines and his desire to strengthen his faith in God.
Barry Unsworth's 1995 novel Morality Play offers a look at the performers of such medieval dramatic fare and raises questions similar to those found in Eliot's play, specifically, the ways in which the law of man—as opposed to the law of God—can he corrupted and suited to the desires of those in power.
Sophocles's Antigone, a tragedy written in the 5th century B .C, is very much like Murder in the Cathedral in its exploration of a conflict between human and divine law. The play also features a Chorus much like that found in Eliot's play.
Eliot's verse, particularly "The Love Song ofJ. Alfred Prufrock,'"'Journey of the Magi'' and The Waste Land shares many themes found in Murder in the Cathedral, such as individual spiritual decay, the desire to be led by a higher authority than man and fear of the unknown.
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