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Analysis of the Play A Man For All Seasons

Analysis of the Play "A Man For All Seasons"

With the free will presented upon us, comes a great sense of responsibility to use it wisely. The choices we make are ultimately affected by an array of factors, such as religion, morals, upbringing, society, and environment, to name a few. However, the conscious effort to ignore any of these factors in order to make the uniformed choice would be a violation of one’s free will and self-respect. In order to remain loyal to oneself, one must be incoherent to the pressures of assimilation, and follow one’s heart to the correct decision. Likewise, in the play, A Man For All Seasons, the lead character, Sir Thomas More, also faced these choices. He had the option to conform like the rest of society, however, he chose to make a choice that he felt was correct, and stood behind it until the end. With the courage to battle the King of England, Sir Thomas More was perceived to lead a silent attack on the Throne. His resolution to protest the unlawful marriage of King Henry and Anne Boleyn was rooted in Christian beliefs and morals. His refusal to accept the divorce of Henry and Catherine allowed for much speculation, however, More’s selection remained steadfast, as did his character, while enduring harsh criticism. More is truly “A Man For All Seasons” in light of his ability to remain true to his beliefs, family, and country when faced with adverse situations.

More’s strong religious beliefs are clearly displayed when he quarrels with Roper over the marriage of Margaret, More’s daughter. More wants his daughter to marry inside the church, so with Roper’s heretical views, he doesn’t allow their marriage. More says to Roper, “Roper, the answer’s ‘no’. And will be ‘no’ so long as you’re a heretic.”(17) Roper’s Lutheran outlook seems to be a source of friction because of More’s strong Christian beliefs. Afterward, when Roper again asserts his allegiance to Luther’s ideals, More responds by saying, “Listen, Roper. Two years ago you were a passionate Churchman; now you’re a passionate – Lutheran. We must just pray, that when your head’s finished turning your face is to the front again.”(17) More stands his ground. His strong disapproval of Roper’s religion shows his unwillingness to compromise in matters such as these....

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