Corruption and Evil in 16th Century England in A Man for All Seasons

In Robert Bolt’s play, A Man for a Season’s corruption and evil lurks everywhere in sixteenth-century England. The King is pressuring Thomas More to accept the King’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Thomas More faces a battle with his friends, family, and the King to accept the divorce. Thomas More’s strict beliefs and self-respect do not allow him to commit himself to his family and the King’s pleas. Thomas More reminds us all what a true hero is.

He has intelligence, bravery, and faith that make him stand out from the common crowd of England.

Thomas Mores’s wide range of intelligence saves his life many times. Using his brain he talks himself out of trouble multiple times. More was a highly respected lawyer, and he educated his daughter. Since More has such a respected reputation in society the King is desperately seeking his approval. In the year 1508, Thomas was elected to parliament.

After being accused of treason More does not let that get to him; his courage and bravery truly shine through during these perilous times.

As the Duke of Norfolk Thomas’ good friend is trying to convince him to agree with the king, Thomas explains why he has to stand up for what he believes in by saying, “And when we stand before God, and you are sent to paradise for doing according to your conscience, and I am damned for not doing according to mine will you come with me for fellowship?”(p.

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132). He is trying to get the point across that he must be brave and stand up for his beliefs. While More is his own man with his views it causes controversy for some people. While the Spanish ambassador, Chapuy is struggling to force Thomas’ hand on the matter for Spain he claims,” Goodness can be difficult”(Act two p.106). Even though the king opposes More’s against him he admires Thomas by calling his bravery,” water in the dessert”(Act One p.55). More commits his most daring act yet by dying.

He is not only showing the public how a noble person should be, but he is also proving that he is innocent by willingly going to be executed.

With all of the Kings followers against More many people would suspect More to ignore his beliefs and follow the King for a better position in the Kings court and to stay with his family, also for his freedom. With Mores’s strict beliefs he refuses to agree to the king’s sin.

Ultimately More Chooses faith over family, friends, and freedom. His religion and confidence in God are strong his last words are, “He will not refuse the one who is so blithe to go”(p.99).

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Corruption and Evil in 16th Century England in A Man for All Seasons. (2022, Aug 14). Retrieved from

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