Murder in the Cathedral Function of the Chorus Essay

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Q. Function of the chorus in Murder in the Cathedral. Ans. T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral tells the story of Thomas Beckett, a man who reigned as Archbishop of Canterbury during the 12th century in England until his death in 1170. In order to tell Beckett's story, Eliot creates a series of equally interesting characters that each play a crucial role thought the play. The most unique role found within the play is the Women of Canterbury, or the Chorus. Throughout the piece, the Chorus delivers seven choral odes. These choral odes, when looked at as a collective work tell a story. They begin with brief foreshadowing of events that will occur later in the play, but then quickly jump into necessary storyline; one which summarizes the events of the pasts, and then immerses the audience into the common man's view of the events in the present. The first choral ode begins with heavy foreshadowing. The Women of Canterbury are drawn towards the Cathedral, but they do not know why. At first, there is confusion. They question, "Are we drawn by danger? Is it the knowledge of safety that that draws our feet towards the Cathedral?" As they reach the cathedral however, they come upon a realization. "There is not danger for us, and there is no safety in the cathedral. Some presage of an act, which our eyes are compelled to witness, has forced our feet towards the cathedral." They recognize that it is not their own personal danger that draws them closer to the cathedral, but instead the foreshadowing of a horrifying act in which they will be forced to bear witness. It will be an act so terrible, that safety cannot even be found within the hallowed halls of the cathedral. With the commencement of the second choral ode, the general mood shifts from confusion and waiting to fear. The Women of Canterbury have been informed that Beckett is returning to Canterbury. Such an

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