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Murder in the Cathedral by T. S. Eliot
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Murder in the Cathedral (1935)

by T. S. Eliot, Pearl Lang

Other authors: John Duffy, T. S. Eliot, David Hays, Tharon Musser

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,352224,192 (3.68)76
T. S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral is both a fascinating retelling of the twelfth-century assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket and a compelling call for resistance in the face of intimidation. Written against the backdrop of rising Fascism in twentieth-century Europe, Eliot's classic verse play is as relevant now as it ever was. This re-release of the original 1953 recording stars Robert Donat whose commanding performance as the Archbishop, alongside a full cast, is widely celebrated.… (more)

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» See also 76 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Amazing poetry and performances. On the nature of ambition and opposition to authority. A perfect story for our times. I have access to six recordings of the performance (1938, 1953, 1968, 1976, 1983, 2003) and the version from 1953 with Robert Donat is the best IMO and critically acclaimed. I dipped into the others and they don't have the same gravity or are over-produced, though a wide variety of interpretive performances. The text is quite rich and the play rewards. ( )
1 vote Stbalbach | Nov 18, 2019 |
Human kind cannot bear very much reality.

The structure of this play is gripping. The use of the chorus was very effective, whereas the depiction of a conflicted Becket in dialogue with his temptations could’ve been explored further. The absence of Henry II makes matters more human and inchoate. The state is thus shorn of personality. The debate of ideas and sacrifice reminded me of the debate surrounding Edward Snowden. Unfortunately I began to ponder and compare the fixed points of liberty and security and my attention drifted. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Profound, beautiful, stays with you. ( )
  Stubb | Aug 28, 2018 |
England Reading
Nobel prize Lit.
TS Eliot born St. Louis — British subject — buried West Abbey
@ Arch of Canterbury murder 1170
a play — church + state — favor + not — good — so different from my regular choices
a London list book — trip upcoming

The Archbishop Thomas Becket speaks fatal words before he is martyred in T. S. Eliot's best-known drama, based on the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1170. Praised for its poetically masterful handling of issues of faith, politics, and the common good, T. S. Eliot's play bolstered his reputation as the most significant poet of his time.
  christinejoseph | Oct 4, 2017 |
Not quite Eliot's initial foray into verse drama - "Sweeney Agonistes" has that status - and perhaps his most memorable one.

Technically, it was unrepeatable, or at least, nobody, including Eliot, has tried to do so (its successors at Canterbury, by Sayers, Williams, Fry, et al. were far more conventional, as were Eliot's later plays). Eliot uses a chorus taken straight out of Greek drama, and marries it to a structure based tightly on that of the Western mass (down to an actual sermon at the sermon and a martyrdom at the point of the Eucharistic Sacrifice), followed by a Brechtian breaking of the fourth wall. The chorus lets Eliot use a more heightened poetic language than he could have gotten away with in its absence.

And it works. It continues to be performed, and works well in performance (one could say "the theatre", but it tends to be performed in churches). On the page, it is as effective as any drama is outside of performance.

A tour de force which, while it will never be part of the world's greatest drama, is easily a major work at the second rank. Considering that the first rank is Shakespeare, Sophocles, Racine, and so forth, this is still a major achievement. ( )
1 vote jsburbidge | Sep 21, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
T. S. Eliotprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lang, Pearlmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Duffy, Johnsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eliot, T. S.secondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hays, Davidsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Musser, Tharonsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coghill, NevillEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kern, A. FransTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nijmeijer, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Here let us stand, close by the cathedral.
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We have all had our private terrors,
Our particular shadows, our secret fears.
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The Archbishop Thomas Becket speaks fatal words before he is martyred in T. S. Eliot's best-known drama, based on the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1170. Praised for its poetically masterful handling of issues of faith, politics, and the common good, T. S. Eliot's play expanded his reputation as the most significant poet of his time.
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Ediciones Encuentro

2 editions of this book were published by Ediciones Encuentro.

Editions: 8474909570, 8474903947

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