Murder in the Cathedral

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Fourth Knight (Richard Brito) Character Analysis

Richard Brito, designated as the fourth knight, begins his speech by saying that he has nothing to add to the previous speakers’ “particular lines of argument.” He instead reframes the way Becket’s murder has been framed before him (as an execution by the knights) by asking who, indeed, should be held responsible for killing the Archbishop. By asking this question, Brito aims to get the audience to see that Becket was himself fully responsible for his death. Brito describes Becket as suicidal and insane, reminding the audience that Becket himself insisted, against the priests, that the doors to the Church be opened and his executors, the knights, be allowed to enter. Though Brito paints Becket in such a negative light, he ends his speech saying that thinking of Becket’s death as the result of his “Unsound Mind” is the “only charitable verdict” which the audience could give to a man who, according to Brito, had done a great deal of good for Canterbury in the past—before his spiritual rebellion against the king.

Fourth Knight (Richard Brito) Quotes in Murder in the Cathedral

The Murder in the Cathedral quotes below are all either spoken by Fourth Knight (Richard Brito) or refer to Fourth Knight (Richard Brito). For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Worldly Power vs. Spiritual Power  Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Harcourt edition of Murder in the Cathedral published in 1964.
Part 2 Quotes

It is not I who insult the King. . .
It is not against me, Becket, that you strive.
It is not Becket who pronounces doom,
But the Law of Christ’s Church, the judgement of Rome.

Related Characters: Thomas Becket (speaker), First Knight (Reginald Fitz Urse), Second Knight (William de Traci), Third Knight (Hugh de Melville), Fourth Knight (Richard Brito), King Henry II
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

Here Becket addresses the four knights, who’ve accused him of betraying the king, calling him the one who’s ultimately responsible for the king’s condemnation by the Pope.

Becket asserts that he’s not the one who is truly responsible, but that he was just following the orders of the Pope (who was viewed as the direct voice of God). He claims to be the executor of a law higher than his own powers and command, acting as an instrument of a spiritual order of which he’s merely the mouthpiece—it’s not “Becket” who’s giving the commands, but Christ’s Law and the judgment of Rome. This instant is another example of Becket affirming himself as merely channeling the will of God, having submitted himself wholly to Christ.


Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Murder in the Cathedral quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Murder in the Cathedral LitChart as a printable PDF.
Murder in the cathedral.pdf.medium

Fourth Knight (Richard Brito) Character Timeline in Murder in the Cathedral

The timeline below shows where the character Fourth Knight (Richard Brito) appears in Murder in the Cathedral. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2
Fate and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Loyalty and Guilt Theme Icon
...adds that the king, out of charity, offered clemency despite all of this, and the fourth knight says that Becket showed his “gratitude” only with further dissent, by refusing to acknowledge the... (full context)
Worldly Power vs. Spiritual Power  Theme Icon
Fate and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Eternity and Human Understanding Theme Icon
Loyalty and Guilt Theme Icon
The fourth knight , Richard Brito, argues that Becket was fundamentally responsible for his own death. He says... (full context)