33 Readers
16 Sages

shell pebble

Suffering & Obedience

Murder in the Cathedral - T.S. Eliot

I read this because I had heard it drew on the tradition of Greek drama when I was revising the source history with a student, and spotted it in my local charity bookshop.

The Greek drama aspects give the best scope for Eliot to experiment with Christian theology and imagery, which he does in quite a fresh and original way - to me though (I'm an atheist) this just emphasised how unappealing Catholic philosophy and oratory can be, full of references to violence, purity and corruption, the denigration of the body, submission and humiliation. Voiced by the chorus, these references sketch the relationship between the Church 'supreme as long as men will die for it' and the laypeople who 'know and do not know' (ie experience but are too stupid to intellectually grasp!) that 'action is suffering'