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A Man for All Seasons

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A Man for All Seasons

A Man for All Seasons written by Robert Bolt is a play about a man, Thomas More, who lives by his beliefs and eventually dies because of his beliefs. The play has a simple theme, played out through a few main characters. Rich's character and personality prevent More from being successful.

The first appearance

of Rich in the play happens right away in the first scene. This is the first time you get to see his personality. Rich and More have an argument, as to whether every man is capable of being bribed. Rich believes that money, status or women, can bribe anyone. More doesn't agree with him completely but is intrigued with his belief that a man can be bought with materials. Rich is referring to the fact that he has read Machiavelli, which More later teases him of. Machiavelli's morals are different from More's. More admires his private conscience above things like personal advancement, but Machiavelli gives advice about the opposite. Rich's reference to Machiavelli seems to show that he and Thomas Cromwell will spare no one to achieve success later in the play. At the end of the scene More tells the duke that Rich needs a job, but that he doesn't necessarily recommend Rich, which displays More's view of Rich. More is a well respected man, so his opinion on someone would be a valid one. Right from the beginning of the play you can see the difference between Rich's and More's characters.

More obviously cares for Rich's well being. Rich's lust for power and wealth in the end gets the best of him and any kind of guidance or advice given from More is ignored. It's interesting to note that More does care for Rich. In his interaction with Rich in the first scene, More teaches by testing Rich by offering him the goblet, letting Rich know that the goblet was a bribe and is therefore 'dirtied'. More understands Rich's faults from the beginning of the play, but he tries to nurture Rich anyway. This is another excellent example of More's superior character. It's unfortunate that Rich eventually perjures himself to sentence More to death.

A Man for All Seasons focuses on Rich's rise in status almost as much as it does the fall of More. More and his beliefs get him death, while Rich gains greater status and more and more wealth, at the cost of his friend More. Throughout the book you can see Rich fall deeper and deeper into his own loss of innocence. At the end of Act One, Rich and Cromwell are having a conversation. Cromwell offers Rich the job as Collector of Revenue in return he wants information about the goblet given to him by More. Rich 'laments'



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