A Man for All Seasons Essay

A Man for All Seasons Essay

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In the beginning of A Man for All Seasons, Sir Thomas More is introduced as a profoundly religious man focused on adhering to the laws of his country and faith. As the play progresses the audience sees More putting further faith into his belief that by abiding to the present laws and withholding his opinion about King Henry VIII’s divorce he will be protected from prosecution. The issue starts when the King wishes to divorce his brother’s wife, who initially he had taken as his own through a special papal dispensation, in order to wed Queen Anne and produce a male heir. More, being a devoutly religious man, realizes this goes against the laws of the Church. He refuses to give his willing approval based on the fact it is not morally or lawfully just.
In a utopian society, where using reason and law could keep innocent people from punishment, More would not have been executed. However, this play is based on realistic human nature. Contrary to Humanistic thinking that all people are basically “good,” the reality is that people are selfish and driven on behalf of their own wants. Corruption and personal desires most always takes precedence over what is morally or lawfully just. More’s fatal flaw is his naïve belief that the law would protect him from any unmerited doings of the King. He wrongfully assumed that by not openly denying or confirming his position on the King’s divorce he would be “elevated” from any charges. Countless times throughout the play More states his belief that he is protected.
“I stand on the wrong side of no statue, and no common law. I have not disobeyed my sovereign. I truly believe no man in England is safer than myself.” -Sir Thomas More, pg 68

“No-Alice, it’s a p...


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... dispensation initially granted by the Pope of the Catholic Church.
Throughout this play, there is a recurring lesson: Do not put full faith or trust into something. Most people, just like Richard Rich and King Henry VIII, are out for their own benefit, taking bribes and lives just to get their way for their own selfish needs. It all comes down to ones morals and personal standards. More chose to stand by his faith and accept his fate as an innocent man. He did the noble thing and died with his pride in tact. More realized that his overconfident faith in the law was not reasonable. One takes something that has the intention to protect and places it in the hands of people, and its honest intention sometimes becomes corrupted. The lesson is to never naïvely trust so deeply in something that is in the hands of others because others can not always be trusted.

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