This is two gems in one The play itself is unforgettable, and Bolt s introduction is equally so As Bolt, explains, why did he, a rationalist who is Christian only in the broadest cultural sense of the term, take as his hero a Catholic saint The answer is More s simultaneous enthusiasm for life in the here and now with his immovable commitment to an idea and to ideals for which it would be no question in his mind to sacrifice the life that he loved so dearly Bolt thinks that the key lies in More s idea of his self and ponders whether any society without a transcendent basis for the idea of selfhood can generate the kind of commitment that More had I have my own ideas on selfhood and its importance even if there ends up being no transcendent foundation for individual identity, and I think that even if it turns out to be true that what we call the self is only a temporary assemblage of synaptic connections, the sense of self is a vital element that needs to be individually recognized and explored and delimited before any search for transcendence can be realized At any rate, I applaud this book, one of my very favorites for decades, and Bolt s introduction As J.
R Tolkien once suggested in his own introductory comments to Smith of Wootton Major, introductions should be read after the first reading of the main text so read the play first, then read the introduction Then read the play again, and be sure not to miss the Academy Award winning 1996 movie adaptation, in which Paul Scofield reprised his role in the West End production of the play Truly a play for all seasons Popular books, A Man for All Seasons By Robert Bolt This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book A Man for All Seasons, Essay By Robert Bolt Is Now On Our Website And You Can Download It By Register What Are You Waiting For Please read And Make A Refission For You This country s planted thick with laws from coast to coast man s laws, not God s and if you cut them down and you re just the man to do it d you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then Yes, I d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety s sake.
Several years ago I did something stupid, not sure what It is near certain that I knew at the time My wife yelled at me I deserved that, I m sure of that in hindsight I sat and read this in one go It isn t historically accurate but it is compelling.
I m not going to lie After reading this book, I m a little bit in love with Sir Thomas More You can t help it after reading Robert Bolt s play, though He s so witty and charming and kind and gentle, yet so passionately certain of what is right and wrong and what things are worth dying for King Henry VIII is such a great character in this play, such an overly jovial spoiled baby, that More looks even noble by comparison In my head I picture him looking a little bit like Clark Kent I don t know why Bolt s preface to the play, talking about how he came to choose this particular subject matter when he s not even really a Christian, is almost as interesting and compelling as the play itself he describes how he came to More with an outsider s eye and without really being able to believe in what More believed, he was still struck by the firmness of More s commitment to stand by the oath he swore, even knowing that it meant death at the hands of the King who was once his best friend This play has one of the best courtroom scenes in all of modern drama, rivaling anything in Twelve Angry Men.
For those who are history buffs this is a play about Sir Thomas More and his refusing to submit to pressures of Cromwell to recognize the union of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn against the Roman Catholic Church The play was intense and shows a man, More, who actually loved his sovereign but loved God The fact that More never spoke out against Henry and the charges against him were manufactured and the laws misused would eventually turn More into a Saint and Martyr I read the director s actor s script of the play and every countenance of the characters or discourses were minutely detailed so the reader had a good concept of how the actual play should be performed I would recommend this play as one that is well written, clearly defined characters and highly dramatic.
this is a very famous play and i m not really sure why thomas makes an inspiring main character but neither he nor anybody else ever changes and there s not a single surprise or twist in the whole play just a straight line to martyrdom from page one it s like one long speech about standing up for principles it s a well written speech, but still.
One of the great stories about conscience Would you give up your life on principle for what you believe is right Whether from our 21st century point of view, Thomas More was right or not matters little The play has value as a psychological portrait of a man who digs in his heels and refuses to sign an oath for reasons of conscience, though he knows that doing so will mean his death He doesn t want to die, and as a lawyer he tries every semantic and legalistic way to avoid his fate But that fate follows inexorably.
Perversely, this play makes me think of Ammon Bundy and his crew, and the recent death of their compatriot LaVoy Finicum, even though I in no way believe in their cause Unlike them, More does not take up arms against his perceived sea of troubles, but is martyred Still, you have to consider what compromises you would be willing to make if you believed all of society had taken a wicked turn and it came down to you to make a decision to follow along or not.
In Thomas More s case, no lives were at stake in the stand he took Only his soul, which to him was as real as anything else.
A great portrait of a time and place 16th century England For another view of More and Thomas Cromwell, in which the hero villain roles are reversed, see Hillary Mantel s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.
And now I must start memorizing lines I have three weeks before I open in this play I just stepped in to play More after the previous actor dropped out Edit In rehearsal, I ve found it s about the sanctity of the SELF rather than any other thing.
This was one of my favorite movies growing up The rapid fire repartee left me longing for subtitles or pause and rewind buttons before I even knew what they were that s how much I hungered to know exactly what was said Repeated viewings ensured eventual clarity living in the Catholic city of St Louis one was sure to catch this on late night reruns several times a year The book is a quick read I polished it off in two long sittings, but will read it again I gobbled it this time, partially because it was so good, but also because I want to share it with my Dad when I go home this weekend The book varies from the movie somewhat, as there are some theatrical effects which the movie does away with and grandiose things the movie adds not found in the play However, the important thing the amazing dialogue, Sir Thomas More s amazing mind and wit captured so elegantly through Bolt s writing is all there Finally Having just read A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation I could see shades of that in there Need to reread both this and Utopia to see if it is there ENJOY
The core argument of this play is whether morality and law or religion and law must be separated Whether it should or should not be is a separate debate to this review, however Robert Bolt s argument appears to be that a man or woman must stick to their beliefs That to do otherwise and to compromise lacks moral integrity The suggestion through the play is that morals can be seen as just a gesture And any gesture is of course not important when contrasted against any form of legality However, the protagonist of the play, Thomas More, takes the stand that morals are above the law, not mere gestures, for they define a man And a man s self is all he has in the end according to More To that end morality comes over man made laws because to More morality essentially stems from God.
The history of this play was defined in the preface by the author Many will know the popular version of the story, of how Henry the VIII decided to first marry his brother s widow Catherine, getting the Pope to change laws based on Biblical ideals, and then to divorce her in favour of one Anne Boleyn All of which led to the known history of Henry VIII s wives of course That aside, the means by which he divorced Catherine is what forms the real conflict of the play For Henry VIII decided that the Pope was nothing but a Bishop of Rome rather than God s representative as was thought at the time As such this lead to Henry VIII deciding that all bishops including the Pope were under the ruler ship of a King and then he appointed the Archbishop of Canterbury which led to the formation of the Anglican Church the Church of England The rest as they say is history.
Thomas More as a character in this play, stands in opposition to these acts by the king He presents the view that the Magna Carter protects the Church from the throne as well as indicating that God and his representatives are above the throne Everything boils down, therefore, to More refusing to swear an oath despite his children telling him that surely words mean nothing if not meant in the heart And yet More, dramatically refuses to swear this oath for to swear a false oath before God would be a grave compromise.
It is fascinating how political this play is, view spoiler and also that it features an execution with a set conclusion with a rigged trial hide spoiler