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Murder in the Cathedral

            The text I have studied is Murder In The Cathedral written by T. It was first published in June 1935. At the time of its release it was viewed in different ways for its approach to a number of values and attitudes such as martyrdom, temptation and power, both religious power and kingly power. .
             For its view on martyrdom murder in the cathedral was well received because in those times martyrdom was respected and on the whole society was very religious. It was also well liked because Eliot provided two views of martyrdom. One view is of a person, maybe a servant of god, who dies as a martyr only to further his reputation, torment his enemies and possibly find the grace of God in heaven. This view is provided by the fourth tempter (there are three tempter's before) who tries to convince Thomas, the archbishop, to be a martyr in order to torment his enemies, gain fame and find god's grace. This is evident when the fourth tempter states " Saint and martyr rule from the tomb, / Think, Thomas, think of enemies dismayed, /creeping in penance, frightened of a shade;/think of pilgrims, standing in line/before the glittering jeweled shrine, from generation to generation/ bending the knee in supplication, / think of the miracles, by God's grace, /and think of your enemies in another place." In the first two lines the tempter tells him of the power of being a martyr and the effect it would have on enemies. The tempter then refers to pilgrims and the fame he would receive. He then tells him that God would be pleased and that his enemies would go to hell. Thomas in the end refuses the fourth tempter and says, "The last temptation is the greatest treason:/ to do the right deed for the wrong reason." In present context this view of martyrdom is seen as wrong, especially with war and death so prevalent in today's society.
             The other view of martyrdom presented by Eliot is of a person who desires nothing but to further the will of God, and in doing so may lose his life.

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