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Free Study Guide for A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt

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A Man for All Seasons

Robert Bolt

Date Published

Meaning of the Title
Sir Thomas More was a multi-faceted man. Also, he would be a good addition to any age.

England during the reign of King Henry VIII

Historical drama (satirical)

Sir Thomas More

The main antagonist is Thomas Cromwell. Richard Rich, The Duke of Norfolk, and Alice are minor antagonists.

Suspenseful, has a feeling of impending doom. Foreboding and ominous.

The play is narrated by The Common Man, who talks at various points.


Point of View
The playís point of view seems to be that of The Common Man, who talks to us at various points during the play. His point of view is finally spelled out in the last few lines of the play. ďIt isnít difficult to keep alive, friends-just donít make trouble-or if you must make trouble, make the sort of trouble thatís expected.Ē However, as the story is presented, many of us are left with a different point of view, that Sir Thomas Moreís approach to life is better. Sir Thomas protected his conscience with his life.

Rising Action
The rising action is when More is called to meet with Cardinal Wolsey who attempts to get More to sign a letter to the Pope requesting his help in dissolving the royal marriage between Henry and Catherine.

The exposition is when Alice and the Duke of Norfolk discuss the falcon and the heron. The birds and their actions represent what will take place during the play. And, Moreís following remarks attempt to minimize the seriousness of the tale, just as he attempts to minimize the seriousness of the situation in which he finds himself.

More is condemned to death and finally tells everyone what his real opinions are.

Sir Thomas More is beheaded.

Major Theme
Be true to what you believe.

Minor Themes
No man can serve two masters. Every man has his price.


- unyielding

Farrier - blacksmith

Publican - a keeper of an inn or tavern

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Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on A Man For All Seasons". . 09 May 2017