Albert Camus' The Outsider and Robert Brolt's A Man for All Seasons

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What could a deeply religious, devout Christian nobleman and an existential, indifferent common man separated by roughly four hundred years have in common? Furthermore, what could Sir Thomas More, an eventual saintly martyr as portrayed in Robert Bolt’s A Man For All Seasons, and Albert Camus’ Meursault from The Outsider, an apparent murderer who does not believe in God, possibly have in common? For starters, both men have led similar lives in a search for the truth, and have very strong personal belief systems. It is for this that they are persecuted and “who, without any heroic pretensions, die for the truth'; (The Outsider, Camus, p. 119). Both characters, More and Meursault refuse to compromise their beliefs and as a result society condemns them.
Despite their obvious differences More and Meursault were similar men in many ways. Both men led routine lifestyles. More is a very devout Christian and as such is immersed in repetitious behaviour. Throughout the play More is often found praying, even during the arrival of the King at his home. More enters the scene just in the nick of time wearing a cassock, just as the King is nearly upon him, and knowingly risks disfavour with his liege because his prayer is that important to him. Norfolk is indignant at this behaviour, “What sort of fooling is this? Does the king visit you every day'; (A Man For All Seasons, Robert Bolt, Act One, p. 26). Also, according to his Steward “Sir Thomas rises at six ... and prays for an hour and a half';, “During Lent ... he lived entirely on bread and water'; and “He goes to confession twice a week'; (A Man For All Seasons, Bolt, I, p. 23). It is in this way that More endeavours in a search for truth about life, he looks to God for the answers. Meursault is also immersed in routine, but his is a routine of a simple lifestyle. His week is made up of breakfast at Celeste’s and his nine to five day job and he “used to wait for Saturdays to embrace Marie’s body'; (The Outsider, Albert Camus, p. 75). Meursault also had found his truth, but as Camus states in his after word, “This truth is as yet a negative one, a truth born of living and feeling'; (The Outsider, Camus, p. 119). It is this truth that results in Meursault’s very strong beliefs.

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