The Importance of Principles in A Man for All Seasons

The Importance of Principles in A Man for All Seasons

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The Importance of Principles in A Man for All Seasons


There are many issues that people have to deal with in society. Some issues can be difficult to handle and some can be easy. While dealing with these issues, people tend to be more curious about their personal life then the life of their time period. There are many consequences that will be occurring to that situation depending on how people will deal with the problems they face in their lives. In the play "Man For All Season", Thomas More, does not only life for his personal life, but also the life oh his time period that makes him a strong person who faces many issues by being pressured his family and friend, by not saying the oath, and by always sticking to his principals.


       "A Man for All Seasons" by Robert Bolt, deals with a famous man suffers death rather that swearing on an oath which ran against the dictates of his conscience. He is a man of complete integrity and strength. More has an extremely brave mind, loyalty for his king, and a love of his religion. He is a man of strong faith and deep trust in himself when dealing with one of the difficult many situations he is placed in. One of the biggest political issues dealt with King Henry the 8th is that he needed a son. After nearly twenty years of marriage to Queen Catherine, Henry never got a son and therefore, had a divorce. Unfortunately, a papal dispensation was necessary. This dispensation is not easily obtained especially since Catherine the wife of Henry's older brother who had died. Therefore; the marriage had never been valid and the request for a second dispensation is refused. This is the time when Henry had asked More for his approval but More does not agree with the situation because it is against the law and his moral beliefs. As a consequence, more is sent to jail because these beliefs go against Henry orders. More is pressured by many people in this play but always tries his best to keep his beliefs and principles which makes him a "Man for All Seasons".


      Thomas More deals with a lot of pressures and stress that come from his family and friends.

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It is very difficult for More to deal with these pressures that occur from this. Family for example, More had to face his wife ho keeps on trying to convince him to say the oath but does not understand his beliefs. Alice tells More how much they all need him and that if he swears on the act of succession, the can live their normal lives again but More decides not to take the Oath according to his conscience. Lady Margaret has a lot a part in this scene. She is emotionally hurt for what her father is going through and does not want him to die but take the oath. In attempting to convince him to swear to the act, Margaret says to More, "Then say the words of the oath and in your heart think otherwise" (Bolt, 83). More replies, "What is an oath then but words we say to God?" (Bolt, 83). This indicates one thing about More that he is the kind of person who will not go back on his word but for what he believes in, no matter what the consequences are. Both Alice and Margaret do not succeed but do not give up, instead they tell More that he may do anything he wants since he is not listening to his own family. On the other hand, they understand his decision but they do not agree with him for standing up against the King. Friends also had affection towards More in this play. More is the person who experiences it from his close friend Norfolk. Norfolk threatens his friendship with More for not listening to his only close friend. For instance, there is a part in the play where Norfolk tries to convince More to say the oath by clamming, "Oh Confound all this... I don't know whether the marriage was lawful or not. But damn it, Thomas look at those names... you know those men. Can't you do what I did, and come with us for fellowship?" (Bolt, 78).  This is an example of how much pressure More receives from his friend Norfolk. It's clear that the pressure is one of the issues that More had to face in his lifetime period and not gave much attention to his own personal life.


      "The law requires more than assumption. The law requires fact" (Bolt, 131). Law is considered one of the most important things in life. Some people tend to follow it and scarifies many things even if it is their lives. More is one of those people who would give anything to save a whole society. More refuses many times bout not taking the oath and suffers in many ways. However, More has a lot of confidence in himself because he gives most of his attention to the law considering him being successful at doing it. He sacrifices his own life and his family and friends for not saying the oath. There is a part in the play where he says, "I die the King's good servant, but God's first" (Bold, 58). This indicates how honest and strong More is by confessing that even though he used to be a good friend to the King, he will not say the oath even for the sake of friendship. On the other hand, More has had many good opportunities in order for him to say the oath, but he always refuses. Finally, More is the person who suffers in many ways for not saying the oath and for his believes in the law.


      More is the brave man that always sticks to his principles, not matter what the consequences are. He is the famous man that will suffer death rather than swearing on the oath which ran against the dictates of his conscience. His beliefs are the only thing that is making him stick to his principals. More has strong faith in himself and therefore; he has deep trust in himself when dealing with one of the difficult situations he is placed in. there is a part in the play when More says, "Some men think the Earth is round, other think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign" (Bolt, 133). This points out how strong and confident More is in this play. Even though it is the King who needs More to say the oath, More refuses and indicates that the King can not even be similar to God in any way. More will only do what in right according to the law, he will not surrender his conscience whatever it takes. Thus, More is serving a whole society by sticking to his principals that will teach others a lesson in life.


      In conclusion, people in society will realize how important it is to give a lot attention to their time period and life and by knowing how to deal with their problems effectively. More is considered a perfect example to all those people who do not believe in themselves, even in matter of life and death. More listened to his conscience and principles which proves that More indeed was a "Man for All Season".
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