A Man For All Seasons Analysis

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When Robert Bolt titled A Man for All Seasons he did not draw from the story’s main men as inspiration. The play follows English nobility during a tumultuous time in British history. King Henry VIII wishes to divorce his wife, the Spanish princess Catherine, his brother’s widow, as the pair find themselves unable to produce a male heir. When Sir Thomas More rises to the title of Lord Chancellor of England, the King approaches him, hoping to convince More to support the divorce. More did not approve of the marriage from the start, as it went against the Bible and forced the Pope to issue a dispensation to allow the nuptials. Years pass and Henry creates a new church, the Church of England, and marries his former mistress, Anne Boleyn, and More …show more content…
The men in Bolt’s play are not “men for all seasons” and the author uses the contradicting title to highlight the horrible qualities of his leading players. Bolt paints Sir Thomas More as his main character and follows More’s path from a simple politician to Lord Chancellor. While More shows positive qualities, such as his devotion to his Catholic faith and his uneasiness regarding bribery-shown with his quick removal of a “gift”- Bolt ultimately uses the man to negate his title, A Man for All Seasons, which is generally used with a favorable connotation. More’s dedication to the Pope and Christianity is respectable, nevertheless, the extent he takes it to is not. He remains mute on the subject of King Henry’s divorce for so long that the monarch moves forward in creating the Church of England and marrying Boleyn that More has no choice other than to resign from his post as Lord Chancellor, angrily stating, “[T]his isn’t “Reformation”, this is war against the Church!... Our King… had declared war on the Pope” (Bolt 90). Catholicism and the Pope hold hold the utmost importance in More’s life; they mean more to him than his wife and daughter. His move is honorable, yet as a consequence, his

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