Sir Thomas More's A Man For All Seasons

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Sir Thomas More's "A Man For All Seasons"

A Man For All Seasons was written about Sir Thomas More and his

relationship with the more powerful members of the country in the

sixteenth century. It is a recreation of history, dramatised to

enhance the experience. Written in the 1960's in a world coming out of

global depression, a time of peace, love and drugs, it was a thorn

amongst the rose coloured glasses. When people were used to a more

relaxed establishment, with much more equality than the decades

leading up to it, A Man For All Seasons confronted an immoral, strict

and spineless monarch that was Henry VIII. The play was a strong study

of moral integrity versus corruption and selfishness, which both

contradicted and enforced what the world was like in the 1960's.

Bolt's intention was to influence the present by portraying the past.

A Man for All Seasons has a slow build up; the first three quarters of

the book lays the foundations of the plot in a linear fashion before

gradually advancing to a much more meaningful climax. This climax is

split into four main sections: "In The Tower", "More Sees His Family",

"The Trial" and "The Execution". I will proceed to analyse these in


The beginning of the end is where More is in the tower. This starts

with the entrance of the Common Man. He speaks and there is no one

else on the stage, and he is facing the audience. This indicates that

he is a modern device, he is a character in the play, but he acts as a

kind of narrator to break the audience's suspension of disbelief. This

is ironic; because we know it's not real, it makes us more poignant,

and the audience knows things the characters don't. This is needed, as

the play is very emotional, the audience need someone to remind them

that the play isn't real, yet it is based on a true story, which the

Common Man reminds us of as well. "Now look…" shows that he is funny,

cheeky and much less formal. The fact that he plays small characters

throughout the play, and none of the other characters notice also

breaks the audience away from the seriousness of the play. This is

important as the play is based on a true story, the audience are more

likely to get emotional about the events in the play, and need to be

relieved of this tension if they are to filly appreciate, understand,

and enjoy the play. "Better a live rat than a dead lion" shows that

the Common Man is almost the complete opposite of More, as More is
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