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Paying close attention to two scenes from "A Man For All Seasons", consider how Bolt presents the character of Sir Thomas More and how he dramatises the symbolic clash between morality and expediency.

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Introduction

Paying close attention to two scenes from "A Man For All Seasons", consider how Bolt presents the character of Sir Thomas More and how he dramatises the symbolic clash between morality and expediency. Morality is the sense of right and wrong and is shown through Sir Thomas More. Expediency is doing whatever is necessary to get what you want, quickly, shown through Wolsey and Cromwell. In the Robert Bolt play of "A Man For All Seasons" Bolt uses the figure of Sir Thomas More and shows him as to dramatise the feud between morality and expediency, which is the theme of the play. Sir Thomas More resists the many attempts by a number of characters in a series of confrontations, whose own self-centred expedience is plenty for them, to induce him to abnegate his moral conscience and accept their wishes. When the push comes to shove, Sir Thomas More is extirpated as he failed to coincide with them and in due course results in their own failure too, but Bolt uncovers much on the complexion of true and real statesmanship in the scenes which the altercations take place in, as opposed to expedient politics. ...read more.

Middle

Next, he credits Sir Thomas More, but says "If you could just see facts flat on, without that moral squint... you could have been a statesman" which is a backhanded compliment and in the meantime accuses Sir Thomas More of having no common sense whatsoever. Wolsey calls Sir Thomas More a "plodder" and attempts to bully him through insults, saying he is nothing. Wolsey wanders off of the conversation about the Latin Dispatch and asks Sir Thomas More if he knows where king Henry VIII has been. Sir Thomas More knows that if he says where he has been, then it could be classed as treason. Wolsey puts it bluntly and threateningly: "are you going to oppose me?" as the interrogation wears on, Wolsey hopes he will finally get Sir Thomas More to talk by lulling him into a false sense of security when he says there is no-one else there, but when Sir Thomas More states that he never supposed there was he tries a seemingly final attempt and asks Sir Thomas More if two Tudors are sufficient, hoping he will say something treasonable. Sir Thomas More is deeply shocked by the tone and volume of the question of a change of dynasty. ...read more.

Conclusion

The interrogation is a legitimate process as there is a witness. They are using legal tools to trap Sir Thomas More and failure to sign the oath will mean imprisonment and loss of possessions. If his reasons are treasonable then he will be executed. Sir Thomas More deliberately hides his objections to the oath as to protect himself. Norfolk has been put on the commission, as he is Sir Thomas More's friend and his appeal move him but he has to stand firm and follow his morals. As he refuses to state his reasons for his objections they assume that he wants to act treasonably. Sir Thomas More later suggests that there are some things that the king cannot control. The king has no power over the church and he doesn't owe obedience to the king, although he fails to say this explicitly as it would be treason. Finally, Sir Thomas More calls Cromwell's bluff when he threatens him with his own life. In this scene the trio also try many different strategies to gain an advantage over Sir Thomas More such as friendship, threats, presumptions and Acts. 1,195 WORDS ...read more.

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