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A Man for All Seasons: A Play in Two Acts Paperback – April 14, 1990
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Unfortunately, it would appear that while the king doesn't want to follow the rules, he also doesn't want a bad conscience. This requires him to get the 'blessing' of someone known to be reputable on the subject, so that his conscience may rest at ease. By circumstance of who he is, More is chosen. A document is drawn up in the Parliament, rather craftily, to which subjects of the king are required to swear.
Upon refusing to swear to this document More is thrown into jail. He will neither make a statement about his thoughts on the document, nor make explanation for refusing to swear. In More's thinking, he has been forced to choose between his bodily life and his immortal soul. Eventually More is tried and convicted of High Treason, carrying the sentence of death.
The play is wonderfully crafted and does an excellent job of being subtle and emotional at the same time. It is the essence of a morality play. When push comes to shove, and egos, life, inheritances are on the line, where will you fall?
Some criticize this play for not being historically accurate in some matters.Read more ›
So, to what lengths will a man go to keep his honor? Is everything for sale? This is the story of conscience over expediency, which is a message we need right here, right now, especially in DC. The problem with politics and principles is perennial, but it has become a bit more exacerbated with the war on terrorism.
We rally behind More since he stands up for conscious. It is an interesting dilemma, since we might criticize him for not being more vocal or proactive in his stand against the king, but More does say that God made "man to serve him wittingly, in the tangle of his mind! If he suffers us to fall to such a case that there is no escaping, then we may stand our tackle as best we can. . . But it's God's part, not our own, to bring ourselves to that extremity! Our natural business lies in escaping!" (p. 126)
The best plays are the ones that make you think yeas after you experience them. This is Bolt's spell, and we can never escape.
This is almost a perfect play. The only flaw is that More ends up with the best one liners, while the antagonists Henry VIII and Cromwell have lifeless lines without the wit and sparkle speeches that Bolt have given to More.
One of the intriguing aspects of this play is all the subplots, or rather, ripples across the ocean of events. These sub-plays augment an already powerful story, and help bring more light and detail to the story.
One ripple is Richard Rich. He is a young man with burning ambition. More wisely counsels him to become a teacher, instead of involving himself in affairs of court. Rich ignores the counsel, gets caught up in the sausage-machine of state, and eventually perjures himself in More's trial.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Play format is a tough read. Suggest getting a story line version if you can. Otherwise, you'll need to slog through it.Published 3 days ago by Eric A Ennes
A modern description of a historical event, this play describes the tribulations of Sir Thomas More during the split between the Roman Catholic Church and the newly-formed Church... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mike Rossander
I bought this for a play-reading group to which I belong -- good price, good product. (To mu surprise, I didn't care for the play that much and thought it was wordy.)Published 8 months ago by Bob Pr.
A great play, great insights to what could be seen as a media culture of America from the early 2000s.Published 8 months ago by Josh S.