Murder In The Cathedral Essay

951 words - 4 pages

A True Hero Portrayed: Thomas Becket
Edward Grim was a good friend of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. Around his neck, Grim even bore the cross necklace of Becket. On December 29, 1170, Grim witnessed the horrific murder of his good friend where he was delivering mass in his own cathedral. This was the day that Thomas Becket was martyred for his faith. Grim remained loyal to Becket, writing down the details of the brutality he had seen that day; He called it Martyrdom. Martyrdom is now known as a historically accurate text depicting the murder of St. Thomas Becket. Using Grim’s text as reference, the prestigious playwright, T.S. Eliot, wrote Murder in the Cathedral, with ...view middle of the document...

The four temptations that Becket experiences before his death can be compared with the temptations bestowed by the hands of Satan Jesus Christ endured while suffering 40 days in the dry desert. Eliot could obviously perceive that Grim was portraying these comparisons as well. Although Grim does not speak of temptations, he compares the two in other ways. This is clear in Grim’s description of Becket’s actions right before he receives the first blow from one of the knights. He explains how Becket bowed his head and folds his hands in prayer. This can be compared to the Passion of Christ. Like Becket, he knows his death is but mere moments away and he bows his head and prays throughout the whole ordeal. Not once does he think that this is a choice or that he should be saved. It is something that must be done in the Name of God. Grim recalls the words of Becket, “’I am ready to embrace death.’” He further explains,
Neither his hand nor clothes indicated that he had opposed a murderer - as is often the case in human weakness; nor when stricken did he utter a word, nor did he let out a cry or a sigh, or a sign signaling any kind of pain (Grim).
Eliot’s character of Thomas Becket is more heroic than anything else. He is a hero of faith and this is the most important concept one can sense after reading Grim’s testimony. He states:
And how intrepidly - how devotedly and courageously - he offered himself for the murder when it was made clear that for his salvation and faith this martyr should fight for the protection of others (Grim).
Only a true hero can demonstrate such a sheer act of bravery. If Eliot portrays one thing about Becket throughout his text,...

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