Four Temptations In Murder In The Cathedral

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le pThe Role of the Four Temptations in Murder in the Cathedral The four temptations faced by Thomas Becket in T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral are meant to resemble the temptations of Christ in St. Matthew's Gospel. From Becket's first entrance, Eliot begins developing him as not only a Christ-figure in general but also as an analogy of Jesus Christ himself. Becket's suffering, like Jesus', will have a salvific dimension: it will allow "the wheel"-the order, the pattern of life-to "turn and still / Be forever still". This admittedly difficult, oxymoronic statement may mean that, whereas Canterbury, as symbolized in its women, has been stagnant for the past seven years, stuck in a "peace" that really is no peace, Becket's impending suffering…show more content…
As Becket moves closer to falling into the Tempter's trap, the Tempter tells him that the price of such power is the "[p]retence of priestly power"-he would have to give up his claims as archbishop to spiritual authority. Only in so doing will Becket receive "the power and the glory"- doxological conclusion of the Lord's Prayer: "For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. All worldly power is as nothing compared to the power of God, as Becket knows: "[S]hall I, who keep the keys / O f heaven and hell"-a reference to the power of pardon Jesus grants to the Church ".Descend to desire a punier power?". Becket makes clear the distinction between temporal and spiritual power: it can only guarantee order "as the world knows order". Becket's second temptation has a clear analogue in Scripture, when the devil tempts Jesus to rule over all the kingdoms of the earth, in return for worshiping him (Matt. 4:8-10; Luke…show more content…
5:4)-one must be called to it, as God is calling Becket. For all of his supposed "pride," then, Becket sees this fourth temptation for the temptation to pride that it is: "I know well that these temptations / Mean present vanity and future torment" (p. 40). He does not seek to make his role in God's pattern anything but what God means it to be. Becket is accused of being proud-by the Fourth Tempter, by the priests-but he is actually anything but

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