Sir Thomas More

Sir Thomas More

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“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. Still, however, he is an undeniable hero of great stature.
     Almost every hero from King Arthur to Spiderman is characterized with physical prowess, whether it is agility, strength, or skill in combat. Thomas More on the other hand, was none of the above. His strength was not in his arms, but in his mind, his wit was his agility, and his words were his sword. Thus More’s knowledge and moral self are the only things that distinguish him as a hero.
     More’s own opinion in fact, was valued so much, it was the reason of his death; he died because he stood by it. King Henry VIII who, unless with More’s blessing, could not divorce, and at the same time wed a new wife. The King knew and respected More’s honesty on all matters. Though, because More disagreed with the issue, the King could not in his own mind justify his actions, without eliminating More as a problem, and seeing him as wrong.
     Sir Thomas More stood by what he knew was right in his heart, by that which made him a man, his own threads of morality; even when faced with the grief of his loved ones. Locked up in a cell, away from his wife and daughter, he was able to persevere and stand his ground, when all it took was a simple signing of his name to be with them again. This may seem an act of selfishness, but had he given in, all he had ever lived for, and everything he had ever believed in, would have been gone in that brief moment.

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     More’s battle was not for his country, or for power, or some crusade, but for his own sanctity. It was for love and the good inherent in all people. His death did not mark the end of a traitor, but the birth of a legend, for his greater being lives on in the mind and hearts of people even today. He is a symbol of unyielding moral strength and courage, which no mortal person could destroy. Sir Thomas more is truly a unique hero.
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