In the opening of A man for all seasons, Thomas More and Richard Rich are having a discussion. Thomas insists that becoming a teacher would be better than striving to be rich but Rich does not listen. Rich is given a Cup from Thomas who received it as a bribe and could not keep it for those reasons. More visits the Cardinal and archbishop and is shown a letter to be sent to the pope in Rome.
It is requesting the divorce of the King’s marriage to Catherine. More then meets with Chapuys who is the Spanish ambassador; he talks with More and explains that Catherine Still wants to stay married and that a divorce would be an insult to Spain. More never states his opinion but Chapuy is left feeling that More is in agreement with Catherine. When Thomas arrives home, he finds his daughter and Ropel (her boyfriend) still awake. Ropel asks for Margaret’s hand in marriage but Thomas refuses.
Cardinal Worsley dies leaving Thomas More to become the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Thomas Cromwell (a lawyer) and Richard Rich talk at a pub and discuss matters. Rich wants to do whatever it takes to move up in the world and Cromwell talks of how he does whatever the King wants him to. They then spot Mores’s servant and ask him for secrets, none of which he has. The King visits Mores’s home to discuss what he thinks about the divorce.
The King threatens More by informing him that anyone against the King is guilty of high treason. The King wants Mores’s approval because Mores’s opinion is respected in England. More is not to write anything against the King. After the King leaves his family is curious as to Thomas’s hesitance, so they try to convince him to just agree with the King and let it be. But More says he must follow his conscience.
Several years passed and An act of parliament created the Church of England so the King was able to obtain a divorce and marry Anne who could bear him male children. Anyone who didn’t agree with the Church would be punished. Norfolk tries to convince More to give in as his friend, but More does not listen and decides to retire from his position. Cromwell believes he has information about More taking a bribe once that could send him to the towers. But Norfolk doesn’t think they have a good case because Thomas got rid of the cup as soon as he found out it was a bribe. More is told he is to go to Hampton Court to answer charges before Cromwell. More is interrogated thoroughly but is not intimidated. He is informed that the King thinks he is treasonous. Margeret and Roper approach More and tell him about the act of parliament, everyone is to take an oath or be convicted for treason. More refuses to take the oath and is in jail. Again they interview him but do not get a solid answer on the issue. A trial is held for Thomas. More is charged with denying King Henry VIII his rightful title of Supreme Head of the Church of England. More pleads not guilty but the jury decides on the spot without time for consideration that Thomas More is guilty. More is to beheaded and soon is beheaded.