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In the play A Man For All Seasons, the main character is Sir Thomas More. Sir Thomas is the Chancellor of England and a very religious man. Once, during a conversation with Wolsey (Chancellor at the time) about the King needing a son, Wolsey asks if Sir Thomas would like to govern the whole country by prayer and Sir Thomas agrees. This shows how strong his faith was. Sir Thomas is a friend of King Henry VIII, but when he disagreed with the King?s opinion on marriage, he was beheaded. King Henry was married to Catherine of Argon, the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. Catherine was Henry?s brother?s widow. King Henry and Catherine were married "for State reasons", but although Catherine was pregnant many times, only one child survived?Princess Mary. King Henry needed an heir to his throne, so he wanted a son. He thought Catherine could never get him a son, because she had already failed so many times, so he wanted to have a child with Anne Boylen, but he couldn?t because he was already married to Catherine. Therefore, he wanted the Pope to divorce him and Catherine also, for "State reasons." When Sir Thomas didn?t agree with the divorce, many people turned away from him. His wife, Lady Alice, begged Sir Thomas to agree with the King, just to make life simpler, but Thomas refused. He believed the he wouldn?t go to Heaven if his conscience was not clear, and his conscience told him not to just tell the King what he wanted to hear, but to tell the King the truth. This is just a basic overview of what happened in A Man for All Seasons.
In Act I Scene 1, the book introduces you to some of its? main characters. Sir Thomas and Master Richard Rich are first to be introduced. Rich is offered a job as a school teacher, but he wants to be in office. Sir Thomas gives Rich a silver cup that was given to him as a bribe by a woman who put a lawsuit into the Court of Requests. After giving Rich the cup, Sir Thomas tells Rich of all the temptations you have when you are in office?money, manors, villages, mills, etc. Then enter the Duke of Norfolk and Lady Alice, Sir Thomas?s wife, and Margaret More, Sir Thomas?s daughter. The Duke of Norfolk, who is Earl Marshall of England, is in his late 40?s, a sportsman, a soldier, and a great nobleman. Lady Alice is in her late 40?s, born into merchant?s class, but now a great lady. Margaret is in her middle 20?s, beautiful with moral fineness. A letter is delivered to Sir Thomas More in which it says that the Cardinal needs to talk to him about King?s business, immediately. Everyone is shocked that Sir Thomas has to leave now, because it?s 11:00 at night. In Scene 2, Sir Thomas is at Cardinal Wolsey?s. Wolsey is old with a big decayed body. Wolsey asks for Sir Thomas?s help. The King wants a son and Catherine cannot get him one. He wants the King to get a divorce for "State reasons." Sir Thomas doesn?t agree, so Wolsey says he was an enemy in him, until he "comes down to earth." In Scene 3, Sir Thomas is looking for a boat, and Cromwell approaches him. Thomas Cromwell is in his late 30?s, subtle, serious, and an intellectual bully. Cromwell is on his way to see the Cardinal and wants to know how things went with him and Sir Thomas. Signor Chapuys shows up. He is the Spanish Ambassador who is in like 60?s and a professional diplomat. Chapuys tells Sir Thomas that the King of Spain would be very insulted if Catherine were to be hurt or insulted. He uses this as a kind of threat to Sir Thomas, as if to make sure Catherine will not get hurt. In Scene 4, when Sir Thomas comes home, he finds out that William Roper is there with Lady Margaret. Roper wants to marry Margaret, but Sir Thomas says he cannot as long as he is a heretic. Sir Thomas tells William to get a horse out of the stable and go home. When Lady Alice and Lady Margaret try to talk to Sir Thomas about his visit with Wolsey, Thomas just ignores them. Lady Alice says that Norfolk was talking
Topics Related to Essay
Cultural depictions of Henry VIII of England, Knights of the Garter, Annulment, British films, English-language films, A Man for All Seasons, Thomas Cromwell, Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, Thomas More, Thomas Wolsey, Oliver Cromwell, king henry viii, sir thomas more, isabella of spain, catherine of argon, ferdinand and isabella of spain, anne boylen, ferdinand and isabella, lady alice, wife lady, silver cup, henrys, scene 1, religious man, bribe, school teacher, heir, temptations, chancellor, conscience, pope