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Murder in the Cathedral

Murder in the Cathedral is a drama in verse by T. S. Eliot, first performed in 1935. Eliot's own Anglo-Catholic beliefs strongly motivate his writing. The action takes place during the few days leading up to the martyrdom of Thomas Becket, whose internal struggle is the main thrust of the play. Having come into conflict with secular authority, Archbishop Becket is visited by a succession of tempters, who variously urge him to avoid or to seek martyrdom.

The last temptation is the greatest treason,
To do the right thing for the wrong reason.

Finally, he achieves peace of mind by electing not to look for sainthood, but to accept death as inevitable.



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