- File Size: 425 KB
- Print Length: 94 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; First edition (February 25, 2014)
- Publication Date: June 11, 2020
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00IQYQW7C
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,966 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Murder in the Cathedral First Edition, Kindle Edition
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
THOMAS STEARNS ELIOT was born in St Louis, Missouri, in 1888. He moved to England in 1914 and published his first book of poems in 1917. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Eliot died in 1965.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This isn't to say that "Murder in the Cathedral" is not worth reading. T.S. Eliot here really shows his poetic verve and has some lines that make you ponder their meaning. It's a beautiful verse play, similar to Shakespeare but much shorter (and without humor). And different from other adaptations of the Becket story, the Four Knights who kill the archbishop are given an opportunity to defend themselves. Their actions (and Becket's, too) are left for the reader to judge.
A lot of lines are given to the Chorus of women who operate somewhere between traditional Catholicism and folk beliefs--they seemed to me to be sort of "wise women," that is, both magical and spiritual in their prophecies and statements. Usually a Chorus is used to fill-in details for the play-readers and watchers: Eliot uses them here not only for that function, but also to dominate the storytelling. I appreciated what the Chorus had to offer, but I would have rather read more of the thoughts of the principal characters than of these "side" characters.
The scene where Becket is challenged with the Four Temptations (parallel to the temptations of Christ) is very powerful and moving: here we see Eliot at his best.
I would recommend this play for anyone who is familiar enough with the Henry II / Becket tradition (if you don't know the history, or don't do a quick brush-up on Wikipedia before reading it, you'll be totally lost). It's a very powerful, moving play, and I hope to see it performed on stage sometime.
The story of the 12th-century Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas a Becket is well-known. He spoke out against a tyrannical King. The King of the English would not relent, so he killed Thomas in his cathedral. Thomas’ blood, however, spoke volumes about King Henry. His story later called to mind when another King Henry beheaded another Thomas (More) over the expedient English separation from Rome. This type of story is a reminder through the ages that ultimately, integrity trumps power. No one knows much of Henry II, but Thomas Becket’s story still speaks to English school-children.
Eliot was born in St. Louis but settled in England. He worshipped English culture with his whole heart. As an adult, he converted to Anglo-Catholicism and thereafter practiced his devotion until his death. While teaching at Harvard for a year, he came into contact with the idea that theater was the new venue of poetry. Out of these currents, he put together this play, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The story is short; the tale is epic; the writing is clear; and the topic is masterful. Works like this simply make life more worthwhile.
Groups of 3, or 4, priests or tempters speak very contrived lines. They become more contrived with cheap rhymes that actually hinder instead of help the cadence. The hero returns from France. The message or story of Thomas Beckett does not occur except through the rainy lens of meter. Or free verse. I don't know what it was.
I found this all to be very plastic for good reading or historical setting. Maybe the performance is what matters. I am planning to read "Lamp at Midnight" so I can compare, but I do not recommend T. S. Eliot's "Murder in the Cathedral" for eloquent reading or historical or metaphysical enlightenment.
Possibly the sole exception is this play, the utterly exquisite, devastatingly resonant poetry of which knows no equal in my experience of the English language. Eliot's Nobel Prize for literature was scarcely adequate recognition. No hyperbole, here: I mean it.
As an aside, the Kindle version has clearly been scanned from the original paper version, there are several places where the words are obviously misspelled owing to such scanning processes.
Top international reviews
in seguto, dopo aver rotto il nastro che il propretario del disco mi ha fatto incidere non sono più riuscita a trovare questo prodotto. se non con l'aiuto di un dipendente della Scala; mi sono rivolto ad Amazon, ed in un baleno mi e arrivato a casa. Dopo anni di ricerche. E una recitazione che si ascolta come fossero dei brani musicali, con il top degli attori inglesi di 0ltre 50 anni fa. Lo ascolto di continuo e si mane stregati per la bellezza del linguaggio e la recitazione, e non ha deluso il bel ricodo che avevo di quest'opera.