T.S Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral is well a respected drama composed of the life elements of faith, revenge, and the never-ending struggle for power. Two men, Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Beckett, and King Henry II of England, display this ostentatious struggle for power. This dispute over ruling authority between the Church and the state is indicative of a main theme in Murder in the Cathedra, man versus god. Thomas Beckett serves as the representation of the power of God whereas King Henry II and his advisors serve as the governmental representations, or the power of man. The theme to Eliot's drama is greatly supported by the enhancements of imagery, light and dark as well as sensory, by the usage of metaphors, and by his
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Without God, man would be a daunting ruler. By word of the Chorus, whom represent the ideas and feelings of the common folk of Canterbury, it becomes known that they would prefer to have the lightness of God, rather than the by the darkness of King Henry II. "God is leaving us, God is leaving us. Sweet and cloying through the dark sir... the forms take shape" (29). Without the light of God, Canterbury would be a black place and the forms of ruling men would appear. Through this quote it is apparent that life ruled by man would be harsh and bleak. Peace and War are strong analogies to show the discrepancies between light and dark. When the world is erupted into War, it is generally considered dark or cold, whereas peace represents an indication of lightness and gaiety. Throughout the play it is hinted at that the people of Canterbury have more faith in the ruling power of God, than in the ruling power of the King. "The peace of this world is always uncertain, unless men keep the peace of God. And war among men defiles this world, but death in the Lord renews it." (35).
Aside from light and dark imagery, sensory imagery is a core literary element present in the text of Eliot's drama. Sensory imagery appeals to senses, which create a vivid image of conflicting ideas that can be tasted, heard, viewed, touched, or smelled. Through the use of auditory imagery, T.S