A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt by Leonard Smith (auth.)

By Leonard Smith (auth.)

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Example text

His dealings with the 'holy Maid of Kent' had been carefully witnessed. On the matter of the King's book, he knows better than Cromwell that the King will not perjure himself. Cromwell resorts to charging More, in the King's name, with being a traitor. More's 'So I am brought here at last', shows that, in spite of his faith in the law, this is what he had been expecting all along. Cromwell's official dismissal is ominous : 'You may go home now. ' His metaphor about More, 'There's a man who raises the gale and won't come out of harbour' shows the storms that More's silence has caused; but yet More remains calm.

Margaret's third temptation is emotional she briefly but graphically gives a picture of the misery of their home without him; but More dismisses this as mental torture . More's answer to Margaret's second argument reveals the key place of Man in the 'chain of being'. Animals and angels do not have to choose between good and evil, but man does; and if a man is to remain human, he 40 must choose to stand fast against evil; More says that the 'choice' is not made through reason, but through love, emotional rather than intellectual.

Not only God, but each individual, should judge every moment of his life: in fact, the 'self who judges is 'God'. To Norfolk, this looks 'disproportionate' and 'arrogant'. (By 'We', in italics, he means the 'nobility") But after his quiet and quick confession, More does not, as yet , attempt to explain himself again. He tries to take what he thinks is the practical step of shaking hands 'as friends , and meet as strangers', but to Norfolk this is just 'daft'. So More realises that the only way to save Norfolk is to break their friendship by insulting him.

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