A Man for All Seasons 11.10.2003.
Robert Bolt’s use of “A Man for All Seasons” for the title of his play shows us the admiration he had for both the character Sir Thomas More, and the man himself as someone who never alters. This immediately conveys Bolt’s description of More as “a man with an adamantine sense of his own self” before the play even begins.
Bolt introduces More to us in the first scene, and demonstrates his self-awareness of his own standards – “a man should go where he won’t be tempted”. We learn from the first scene of More’s strong moralistic conscience from his keenness to get rid of the silver cup that was used for a bribe – “You’ll sell it won’t you?” Bolt presents More as a modest and humble character – “Not a bad public,” who does not need to be recognised to feel his work, as he is aware of it himself. Bolt already has introduced a character that knows himself well and has strong morals, which are not easily influenced by other characters.
Bolt uses More’s own words to convey More’s adamant values throughout the play– “what matters to me is not whether its true or not but that I believe it to be true, or rather not that I believe it, but that I believe it…” Bolt demonstrates More’s strong belief in following his sense of right and wrong frequently during the play – “I believe, when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties…they lead their country by a short route to chaos”, “I will be thankful, if by that means I can come with Your Grace with a clear conscience.” Bolt demonstrates More’s belief that following his principles will allow him to go to heaven – “…you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, and I am damned for not doing according to mine…”