Sir Thomas More the Martyr Essay

Sir Thomas More the Martyr Essay

Length: 881 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The definition of a martyr is a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion. When Sir Thomas More died in July of 1535, he became a martyr. In the play A Man for All Seasons, author Robert Bolt shows us his views on how More came to his death . In this play, Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich, King Henry VIII, and Sir Thomas More himself are responsible for his death. Although it could be argued that many more people in Sir Thomas More’s life had a part in contributing to his death, these four characters had the greatest part in eventually bringing him to his death.
Some people may say that Cromwell and Rich were just pawns in the King’s plot, however they can’t possibly argue that they weren’t in control of their actions. Cromwell and Rich are essentially responsible for the final prosecution of More. Together, they are guilty of letting their inner want and need for power cloud their consciences, which led them to bring down a good man of Thomas More. More, being a smart man, could beat them in a court of law. Rather than fighting More with the law, Rich and Cromwell decided to break it. Rich lied under oath sending More to his deathbed, and he responded, “I am sorrier for your perjury than my peril”(156). Cromwell, in his quest for power, saw a doorway of opportunity where he could bring down More and in the process benefit his own social and economic status. As More stated, “Silence gives consent” (152) and Cromwell’s silence during Rich’s illegitimate testimony makes him an accessory to the crime and therefore just as guilty as Rich. Together, Rich and Cromwell are partners in the crime, whether they are accomplices to King Henry or for their own reasons. Either way, they are still responsibl...

... middle of paper ...

...and, “I don’t believe this had to happen”(144). At least twice Sir Thomas More made poor choices and put himself into bad situations in the play, which ultimately took him closer and closer to his death.
Sir Thomas More never had to die. He was the only person that really understood the implications that complying with the King’s desires would cause and yet he still ended up in the most undesirable position one could imagine. Many people caused the death of Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons, however those that are most guilty are King Henry, Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich, and Sir Thomas More. Who of these is most guilty is a matter of opinion, but that these people are truly and completely guilty of ending Sir Thomas More’s life is a fact. From King to commoner each of these people played a vital role in the destruction of one man’s honest and righteous life.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Sir Thomas More

- “The world’s battlefields have been in the heart chiefly; more heroism has been displayed in the household and the closet, than on the most memorable battlefields in history.” – Henry Ward Beecher Whether or not the statement by Henry Beecher is true, it is certainly well put when spoken in the context of martyr Sir Thomas More. This paper contrasts and classifies Sir Thomas More as a unique hero, when compared to society’s typical, Beowulf-Romeo style heroes. It is doubtful that Thomas More, as a grown man, was ever engaged in a physical confrontation of his choosing, and except for his faithful and loving wife, had any romantic escapades....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
459 words (1.3 pages)

A Defense For Sir Thomas More Essay examples

- A Defense For Sir Thomas More Preparatory notes: Act One, Scene seven: -part one- King Henry visits More at his home, having sailed there on his new battleship. After pulling More aside to have a talk and discussing several topics, King Henry suddenly broaches the subject of the divorce. More says that he cannot agree with the divorce, and thus would rather not talk about it than outright disagree with the king. “That you should put away Queen Catherine, Sire. Oh, alas as I think of it I see so clearly that I can not come with Your Grace that my endeavor is not to think of it at all.” The king is disappointed and asks More why he would deny him his wish as it is so important to him....   [tags: king henry, queen catherine]

Better Essays
1049 words (3 pages)

Sir Thomas More - A Narrow-minded Hypocrite Essay

- Sir Thomas More - A Narrow-minded Hypocrite "What did nature ever create milder, sweeter and happier than the genius of Thomas More. All the birds come to him to be fed. There is not any man living so affectionate to his children as he, and he loveth his wife as if she were a girl of fifteen" (Erasmus). Sir Thomas More is often viewed as a Catholic saint and martyr. He is viewed this way because More took a stand against King Henry VIII’s divorce of Catherine of Aragon and later was beheaded for his Catholic beliefs....   [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers]

Free Essays
666 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Sir Thomas More's Life of Public Service

- Sir Thomas More was born on February 7, 1478 in London, the same place he would die 57 years later. It was Thomas’ family that showed him the importance of serving his county. His grandfather, Thomas Granger, was a lawyer and a sheriff in London. His father was a layer and a judge, so it was these men who influenced him and taught him the importance of public service. He received education at St Anthony's School in London and studied under many well-known, prestigious men such as Archbishop John Morton, Thomas Linacre and William Grocyn....   [tags: catholic, saint, utopia]

Better Essays
559 words (1.6 pages)

Essay on Thomas More: Preserving Self in Society in A Man for All Seasons

- Some might say he’s a hypocrite. Others may adopt a Christian perspective to his moral struggle. Robert Bolt, however, would describe him as a man who exemplified an “adamantine sense of his own self” (Bolt xii). A Man for All Seasons, although non-theological in its scope, nevertheless presents a dramatic hero of no small interest to the contemporary Christian, but whose significance does not end there. Sir Thomas More, a well-known martyr and inspiration to those “moral” among us, is a man of inexorable integrity, whose steadfast adherence to his religious and ethical beliefs led to his tragic demise, and to the expanding popularity of his character....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
1076 words (3.1 pages)

Use of Veiled Imagery and Criticism by Sir Thomas Wyatt and Sir Thomas More

- Sir Thomas Wyatt and Sir Thomas More wrote during the reign of King Henry VIII, a notoriously harsh king with a penchant for punishment. While both More and Wyatt had opinions of the King, their fear of severe punishment, forced them to revert to a mode of criticism that was far more covert. These men began integrating their political beliefs, and opinions of the king into their writings. They both believed that “in a court of people who envy everyone else and admire only themselves,”(More, 528), any sort of public, open commentary against the king would surely earn them the axe....   [tags: Sir Thomas Wyatt, Sir Thomas More]

Better Essays
1482 words (4.2 pages)

Sir Thomas More’s Utopia: An Alternative to European Life Essay examples

- Presented as a conversation between friends, Sir Thomas More’s Utopia offers an alternative to European life that is hopelessly unobtainable, but undeniably superior. Utopia is absolutely fiction, and yet it is written in a style that makes its content remarkably believable. More’s conversational attitude towards a serious and scholarly piece of thought makes his thesis at once obscure and obvious. He spends a majority of the narrative describing small, unconnected details of the lives of the Utopians, ignoring the lengthy scholastic explanations which are to be expected of a man of his education, and yet through the detail he reveals an expansive and original hypothesis....   [tags: Sir Thomas More, Utopia]

Better Essays
1583 words (4.5 pages)

Sir Thomas More And Utopia Essay

- Sir Thomas More and Utopia One of my favorite movies of all time is Ever After: A Cinderella Story. It is a 1998 film adaption of the fairy tale Cinderella and stars Drew Barrymore as the lead female character named Danielle de Barbarac. Danielle’s mother dies very early in her life and as a result Danielle and her father are very close. Her father remarries a baroness with two daughters. Shortly after, her father dies of a heart attack. Danielle now has very few possessions to call her own: a beautiful gown and slippers that had belonged to her mother, the loyalty of the manor's three remaining servants, and her father's copy of Utopia, by Thomas More....   [tags: Sir Thomas More]

Free Essays
1923 words (5.5 pages)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Essay

- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight What makes a man a hero. Where lies the line which when crossed changes a mortal man into a legend. Is it at the altar at Canterbury. in the Minotaur’s labyrinth. or is it an age or a time. Does a man become a hero when he transforms from a boy to an adult. or when he stops being a man and becomes a martyr. Where are the heroes of 1993. In whom do the children of this age believe. Like whom do they strive to be. Kennedy, Lennon, and even Superman are dead. World leaders are mockeries of real men, more like Pilates than Thomas Mores....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Free Essays
1109 words (3.2 pages)

Sir Thomas More's A Man For All Seasons Essays

- 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....   [tags: Sir Thomas More Man All Seasons Essays]

Free Essays
5332 words (15.2 pages)