It was first performed in Canterbury Cathedral on June 15, as part of the annual Canterbury Festival. The play is inspired by the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket on December 29, In his younger days, although he was already an ordained priest, Becket had been a close friend of King Henry II of England and lived a purely secular life of pleasure. The play begins when Becket returns to Canterbury from exile, although he knows that his life is in danger.
Kumaraditya Sarkar Member Level: English poetic drama in the twentieth century arose as a reaction to the deteriorating naturalistic prose plays of Ibsen, Shaw and Galsworthy.
Its photographic realism failed to convey the tension and complexity of contemporary life. Eliot took to writing plays late while already enjoying colossal poetic fame.
Also a mature critic, he was well acquainted with the nature of poetic drama, its failure in the nineteenth century, and the problems, technical or otherwise, that a verse dramatist might face in his time. Through his criticisms, he frequently advocated for the poetic drama and crossed the misconceptions about it.
He knew that it was still possible in the twentieth century, only "it cannot be the work of one generation working together, but has to evolve by the small contributions of a number of people in succession, each contributing a little.
First, he asserted that "no play should be written in verse for which prose is dramatically adequate. In Murder in the Cathedral, he chose to retell the inner conflict of Becket to win over temptations and be a martyr by losing "his will in the will of God".
The Family Reunion, on the other hand, deals with the guilt complex of the protagonist, while The Cocktail Party examines personal inadequacies of married life in the modern context. These plays demonstrate religion as the ultimate meaning of human existence, leading people "to think in Christian categories.
Nevertheless, the author was not much pleased with his structural achievement in the first play: Some of the best poetry comes with the Chorus, as in Part I: Ill the wind, ill the time, uncertain the profit, certain the danger.
O late late late, late is the time, late too late, and rotten the year; Evil the wind, and bitter the sea, and grey the sky, grey grey grey. According to Chinmoy Guha, these are further influences of Laforgue on Eliot. This is rather dramatic poetry than poetic drama. In Part II the Chorus cries: Take stone from stone and wash them.
The land is foul, the water is foul, our beasts and ourselves defiled with blood. A rain of blood has blinded my eyes. Poetry must not be an embellishment to look at, but a medium to look through. Eliot distinguishes between true and false rhetoric, saying that the latter spoils the dramatic detachment of the audience.
Poetry in Murder in the Cathedral is not merely decorative. It helps revealing the personae of the characters as the objective correlative of their minds, while its symbolism works out the thematic implications.
Its long speeches indeed shine with rhetoric but at the same time build up the mood, the opening choric speech being a good example.Get an answer for 'Why is T.
S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral called a poetic play?' and find homework help for other Murder in the Cathedral questions at eNotes. MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL - POETIC DRAMA English poetic drama in the twentieth century arose as a reaction to the deteriorating.
naturalistic prose plays of Ibsen, Shaw and Galsworthy. Its photographic realism failed to convey the tension and complexity of contemporary life.5/5(1).
Dec 08, · He had a full understanding of the nature of poetic drama, the difference between verse drama and prose drama, the causes of the failure of 19th century verse dramatists, the problem, technical and otherwise, which face a writer of verse plays in the modern age.
Murder in the Cathedral is divided into two parts (both of which are in verse) with a sermon given by the character of Thomas Becket (in prose) between srmvision.com play shows influences of Ancient Greek drama (with its inclusion of a Chorus) and of medieval morality plays in .
Poetic drama still needed a suitable verse form, as the Elizabethan blank verse became cliché in excessive use.
Also a poetic drama written on the same theme, Tennyson's Becket tried to be Shakespearean and met an even worse reception than its predecessors. Murder in the Cathedral marks the maturing stage of Eliot's experimentation with verse forms, culminating in The Family Reunion.
Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Murder in the Cathedral at srmvision.com Read honest and unbiased I had only two other pieces of drama or poetry in my collection - an old Arden's Shakespeare edition of Henry V and a collection of Poe's works - I'm just not a big fan of reading poetry or drama, though I do enjoy seeing.