After spending nine months in Mrs. Collins’s religion classes there are certain things that I have come to expect. Things like word cards, calendars, and not an excruciatingly large amount of homework. In the last 2 months in her class, however, she assigned us a book to read in class and at home. There were daily quizzes on our progress in the book. This was an alteration from our regular day-to-day religious teaching.
Overall, I thought A Man for All Seasons was an excellently written play although it lacked some important aspects I think a play should have to capture an audience of my age group.
The first is and most prominent in my opinion is excitement or action. Second, the characters in the play were not ones I believed the majority of the congregation could connect or relate with. Last, there were certain characters in the book I felt could have used more development in the area of character. Some of their more personal facets were never known to the reader/listener because the book failed to describe them well enough.
In this book, A Man for All Seasons, the main character and good guy is Sir Thomas More. He is an honest man who makes a good living in the King’s service. He continues to be loyal to his king throughout the book. More is a moral and religious man, which will get him into trouble caused by immorality and false people who are out to get him because he disagrees with them.
The King is married to a woman who will not bear him a son, so he wishes to marry another fertile woman to produce one. He sends his will of divorce to the pope, for his permission. The pope promptly refuses the King as he has gone through so much trouble to marry him to Catherine, his wife. Consequently, the King sends a petition to his countrymen asking them to sign with him and make him pope, so he could have the right to divorce Catherine. Sir Thomas More is the only man to oppose the king. He cannot morally sign the petition, so he resigns. More is then indicted by men of the king and hanged for high treason.
Although this book showed signs of a thick plot line, there were no hook scenes in the play to hold the average adolescent reader’s attention.
All of the characters in the play we read were very opulent upperclassmen except some very poor people mentioned. I think it is hard for some people to relate to the fact of how wealthy these people were. We also cannot conjecture the hardship of Sir Thomas More when he resigns from his duty of office. These people are also adults living in the 1500s who, with the omission of More, are thoroughly immoral. The majority of the community except for our denomination of society is mostly middle-class children who have only begun to develop their moral exposure to an inconsiderable magnitude.
As to how well the play/book developed the characters all I have to offer against the length that the author created them is that I occasionally had a misunderstanding as to why some of the characters acted as they did. Perhaps my knowledge and exposure of the time frame the book takes place in is not advanced enough to fathom the ideas in the minds of the characters.
Although the book A Man for All Seasons had some minor setbacks (in my personal opinion), I did feel it was a play written with excellent quality for the enjoyment of the reader. I would classify it very high in ranking against most of the other plays I have read, for enjoyment or as a school assignment.