The Resignation in the Play, A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt

Great Significance: The Resignation

The scene titled The Resignation from the play A Man For All Seasons has great significance with extreme support from many aspects within itself. Some of the strongest aspects of this scene include the portrayed intent, some very strong theme points, and the many dramatic devices. The intent is important because it shows the overall purpose of the scene which creates a basis or foundation for the entire scene and for scenes to come. The theme points are an extremely important fixture.

As in most scenes, the theme points will correlate directly with the entire play’s overall theme. Finally, many dramatic devices are extremely useful. These are used to help set the scene and will carry on throughout itself. The Resignation is one of the most important scenes in the entire play A Man For All Seasons.

The intent within any scene especially this scene truly creates a strong foundation. The intent within this particular part is the core of the entire play.

With Thomas More part of the State as the Chancellor and part of the Church, he stuck in between the two. To More, he felt that if he were to stay as Chancellor he would have to verbally side with the King. According to this thought process, he felt resigning whilst maintaining silence would result in the assumption that he was with the King without jeopardizing his morality or conscience. This shows that throughout Mores’s decisions he is very cautious in ensuring that his morals are always followed.

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This scene also shows the intent of Mores’s small group of friends and family. The scene takes all the people that More seems to be closest with and shows their reaction to his decision to resign. Norfolk is a friend of Mores but also is with the State so when asked if he will help More with the resignation Norfolk says, Not 1 (Bolt 89). Margaret who is Mores daughter always agrees with her father. When she is asked to help her father Margaret says, If you Want (Bolt 90). The intent here is to show some of the side characters and how their personalities and morals correlate positively or negatively with More.

One of the biggest themes of this play if not the most significant one is morality. The theme of morals is especially strong in this particular scene. It is understood that for Mores well being it would be best if he were to agree with the King but unfortunately, his morals know it is wrong to allow this divorce. More knows of the dangers of not siding with the King, such as the accusation of being a traitor. Despite knowing such dangers he has faith that the only possible option is to do the right thing. This shows Mores’s morals and the theme of how important they are.

Though Thomas More has great strong morals it would appear that his friends and family seem to lack in that department. Specifically with Alice, his wife, one can see a lack of morals, at least with this particular matter. She is more concerned about the safety of herself and her family. As More asks Alice for help with his resignation she says, Is this wisdom to betray your ability, abandon the practice, forget your station and your duty to your kin (Bolt 90). This shows her thought process in this situation. She is essentially saying it would be illogical to be thinking with Mores’s morals because it is interfering with the family’s overall well-being. The theme in this situation is also about morals but how many disregard them?

There are many dramatic devices throughout this play. In this particular scene, the most substantial dramatic device is symbolism. More uses his chain as a symbol of his resignation when he says, (He fumbles with his chain) Help me with this (Bolt 89). This shows how More wants to remove his chain as if he wants to remove himself from the Chancellor’s position. The symbolism is very clear that More believes his only option is to resign so he is no longer directly connected with the State.

Another important dramatic device that is significant is a direct reaction to Mores’s symbolism. When More asks for help he gets mixed responses such as a no from Norfolk, a slight yes from his daughter Margaret, and an emphatic no from Alice, which set the mood. When Alice was asked by More she exclaimed, Hells fire-Gods Blood and Body, no! Sun and moon, Master More, you take for a wise man (Bolt 90). Alice is not pleased with More and his choices. The mood darkens as she says he is taken for a wise man to infer that he is not a smart man. Once this is said, More has no response as he simply listens gravely and then turns his question towards his daughter. The overall mood of this scene could be considered to be dark.

The final dramatic device in this scene that is significant is the atmosphere. The atmosphere is a direct correlation to the mood that was set by Alice. The atmosphere could be considered to be extremely tense. This does not lighten up until Margaret agrees to help More. This entire situation shows the significance of Mores’s decision. Within that More has resigned and it is only a matter of time till his world falls apart.

The scene titled The Resignation from the play A Man For All Seasons has great significance. The strong aspects of the play include the intent, the theme points, and the dramatic devices. The Resignation is one of the most important scenes in the entire play A Man For All Seasons.

Works Cited

  1. Bolt, Robert. A Man for All Seasons. London: Heinemann, 1960. Print.

Cite this page

The Resignation in the Play, A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt. (2022, Aug 14). Retrieved from

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