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Word Count: 988
The Temptations of Thomas Becket The four temptations faced by Thomas Becket in TS Eliots Murder in the Cathedral are meant to resemble the temptations of Christ in St Matthews Gospel As He was fasting in the desert Jesus was visited by the devil who tempted him three times First Satan asked Jesus to feed himself by turning stones into bread Second he told Jesus to throw himself down from the temple so that when He was rescued by angels He could be glorified by the people Christs last temptation was to worship the devil in return for great worldly power Jesus rejected all three temptations saying Be gone Satan for it is written You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve At these words the devil vanished and angels came to minister to Jesus The first temptation to Thomas Becket was to forgive King Henry his sins and make peace with him You were not used to be so hard upon sinners the Tempter reminds Thomas He also recalls Beckets long friendship with King Henry Remember the good times when you and Henry were friends He even goes so far as to threaten the Archbishop if he does not allow the King to do what he wants Leave well alone or your goose may be cooked and eaten to the bone Thomas resists this temptation to sacrifice his principles for the sake of King Henry or his own safety but a second visitor soon arrives Power obtained grows to glory life lasting a permanent possession says the Second Tempter This visitor tempts Thomas with earthly power telling him that he the Archbishop can be more powerful than the King if he is willing to use his spiritual power over the people to overthrow King Henry Disarm the ruffian strengthen the laws rule for the good of the better cause dispensing justice make all even is thrive
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