Murder in the Cathedral

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Third Tempter Character Analysis

The third tempter wants Becket to use his power as Archbishop to help him form a coalition of barons and country-lords that will fight to overthrow the “tyrannous jurisdiction” of King Henry II. This tempter sides with Becket’s dissent from the crown, and claims that there’s no hope for Becket to reconcile with the king. Further, Becket’s authority as the Archbishop—if he’d side with the third tempter—would be a great help to this tempter’s political cause. Like all the other tempters, the third one’s proposal is rejected by Becket; he leaves saying that, in the future, he hopes the king will show Becket the respect the Archbishop deserves.
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Third Tempter Character Timeline in Murder in the Cathedral

The timeline below shows where the character Third Tempter appears in Murder in the Cathedral. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Worldly Power vs. Spiritual Power  Theme Icon
Temptation Theme Icon
Loyalty and Guilt Theme Icon
The third tempter appears, and introduces himself to Becket as a “country-keeping lord” and a “rough straightforward Englishman,”... (full context)
Worldly Power vs. Spiritual Power  Theme Icon
Temptation Theme Icon
Loyalty and Guilt Theme Icon
Becket rejects the third tempter ’s proposal, saying that he’d never betray a king. The tempter leaves, and tells Becket... (full context)