Friday, August 16, 2013

Murder in the Cathedral [T.S. Eliot] ~ St. Thomas Becket of Canterbury

What's Schoolin'?

The olders have just finished reading T.S. Eliot's play Murder in the Cathedral which won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1935.  It is a short read, but very rich in content and literary merit.  Here is what we did:

1. Independent instructions:  Read up to page 16.  List unfamiliar words in Lit Response Notebook.  Write a brief summary of what is happening so far in the play.

2. Finish reading independently.

3. I read the Chorus part aloud on pages 18 - 19 beginning with "Here is no continuing city, here is no abiding stay.  Ill the wind, ill the time..." and ending with "...A doom on the house, a doom on yourself, a doom on the world." [I read very dramatically :)]

4. Writing extension:  Write a comparison/contrast essay comparing Murder in the Cathedral to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

5. Read If All the Swords in England: A story of Thomas Becket by Barbara Willard [Note: dd said it was really good because it was written from both perspectives (King Henry II and St. Thomas Becket). The 2 main characters are twins and go to serve each side.][One of them read this before Murder in the Cathedral and the other dd read it after - doesn't matter.]

6. Here is a biography of St. Thomas a Becket:

7. Here is part 1 of 15 of the movie Becket starring Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole (1964). I was able to find this in the library.  This is not based on Eliot's play, but rather a play by Jean Anouilh entitled Becket:

Same movie except in only 4 parts:

8. Horrible Histories of Henry II as he reaches the end of his pilgrimage of public penance for the murder [If you are not familiar with Horrible Histories... it's sort of like Monty Python-ish so preview first!]:

Other resources:

This is an audio of the book:

This book happens right after the martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket but really has nothing to do with it :). The Hidden Treasure of Glaston (Living History Library)

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