In some literature, a character’s moral stature plays an important role. In the play, A Man for All Seasons, by Robert Bolt, no other character comes close to More’s moral reputation. Thomas Cromwell and Richard Rich do not compare to More’s moral stature because both Rich and Cromwell lie, while Rich accepts bribes and Cromwell does anything King Henry VIII tells him to no matter what it is, and they will do whatever it takes to get what they want. More on the other hand, would not lie no matter what the consequences would be, he would not accept a bribe under any circumstance and he would never go against his morals.
Sir Thomas More is a good moral man who believes in God and would never lie to anyone to get anything. Sir Thomas, in the play, would not be dishonest and take the oaths without believing them and this is seen when More states to Margaret, “ . . . When a man takes an oath Meg, he’s holding his own self in his own hands. Like water and if he opens his fingers then - he needn’t hope to find himself again. Some men aren’t capable of this, but I’d be loathed to think your father one of them.” (Bolt 83) More will not lie and take the oaths just to get himself out of trouble. Additionally, More will not be dishonest because he states, “Can I help my King by giving him lies when he asks for truth? Will you help England by populating her with liars?” (Bolt 93) Overall, More will not lie to get something he wants.
Sir Thomas will also not accept any bribes. He gives Rich the goblet which he was given as a bribe from a woman who put a lawsuit into the Court of Requests. More tells Rich as t...
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...his death by coming up with a plan that More could no way escape, which was to use the law against More and this is shown when Cromwell states, “ . . . it must be done by law. It’s just a matter of finding the right law. Or making one.” (Bolt 61) Cromwell tried to bring More down by attempting to show the More accepted bribes, he was acquainted with Holy Maid of Kent, and that he instigated the King’s book. Cromwell was trying to get innocent man convicted by making up stuff to hold him on which makes him a man with no integrity
Sir Thomas Cromwell and Richard Rich’s moral stature do not come close to More’s reputation at anytime. All of the characteristics clearly display that More’s moral stature is no way comparable to Rich’s or Master Cromwell’s.
Bolt, Robert. Man For All Seasons. Toronto: Irwin Publishing, 1963.
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