Metaphor Analysis Essay
The Sea and Dry Land
In his Preface to the play, Bolt informs the reader his main metaphors are the sea and dry land, to suggest the supernatural order vs. the human order. The sea is formless, vast, and unpredictable. The land is security, home, order, what is known. Thomas More paradoxically clings to the safety of law and land but finds himself swept by his religious faith out to sea. Bolt did not want a purely naturalistic play, he says, and the metaphors are a way to add scope and philosophic depth, as in a poem.
Thomas More is a home-loving man with his house and family in Chelsea and their well-ordered ways. In addition, he is a lawyer who believes in the law as the safeguard of the citizens: “The law is a …show more content…
In a later scene in Act Two, Cromwell says that More is a “slippery fish,” and they need a “net with a finer mesh” to catch him (p. 103). During the last scene with his family, More calls his wife Alice “a lion” for her courage in standing by him to the bitter end (Act Two, p. 145). Henry calls his followers like Cromwell “jackals,” animals who eat the leftovers, while Henry calls himself a “lion” that provides the meat (Act One, p. 55). When More is imprisoned, and The Common Man is cast in the role of the jailer, he pleads for his lack of morality by saying “Better a live rat than a dead lion” (Act Two, p. 127). This makes the Common Man the rat and More the lion or noble one, though he dies for it. The differing use of the lion symbolism points out the