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A Man For All Seasons (Modern Classics)

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A Man for All Seasons dramatises the conflict between King Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More. It depicts the confrontation between church and state, theology and politics, absolute power and individual freedom. Throughout the play Sir Thomas More's eloquence and endurance, his purity, saintliness and tenacity in the face of ever-growing threats to his beliefs and family, earn A Man for All Seasons dramatises the conflict between King Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More. It depicts the confrontation between church and state, theology and politics, absolute power and individual freedom. Throughout the play Sir Thomas More's eloquence and endurance, his purity, saintliness and tenacity in the face of ever-growing threats to his beliefs and family, earn him status as one of modern drama's greatest tragic heroes. The play was first staged in 1960 at the Globe Theatre in London and was voted New York's Best Foreign Play in 1962. In 1966 it was made into an Academy Award-winning film by Fred Zinneman starring Paul Scofield."A Man for All Seasons is a stark play, sparse in its narrative, sinewy in its writing, which confirms Mr Bolt as a genuine and solid playwright, a force in our awakening theatre." (Daily Mail)


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A Man for All Seasons dramatises the conflict between King Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More. It depicts the confrontation between church and state, theology and politics, absolute power and individual freedom. Throughout the play Sir Thomas More's eloquence and endurance, his purity, saintliness and tenacity in the face of ever-growing threats to his beliefs and family, earn A Man for All Seasons dramatises the conflict between King Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More. It depicts the confrontation between church and state, theology and politics, absolute power and individual freedom. Throughout the play Sir Thomas More's eloquence and endurance, his purity, saintliness and tenacity in the face of ever-growing threats to his beliefs and family, earn him status as one of modern drama's greatest tragic heroes. The play was first staged in 1960 at the Globe Theatre in London and was voted New York's Best Foreign Play in 1962. In 1966 it was made into an Academy Award-winning film by Fred Zinneman starring Paul Scofield."A Man for All Seasons is a stark play, sparse in its narrative, sinewy in its writing, which confirms Mr Bolt as a genuine and solid playwright, a force in our awakening theatre." (Daily Mail)

30 review for A Man For All Seasons (Modern Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    A Man for All Seasons: a Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt A Man for All Seasons is a play by Robert Bolt based on the life of Sir Thomas More. The plot is based on the historical events leading up to the execution of Sir Thomas More, the 16th-century Chancellor of England, who refused to endorse King Henry VIII's wish to divorce his wife Catherine of Aragon, who did not bear him a son, so that he could marry Anne Boleyn, the sister of his former mistress. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و چهارم ماه ژوئ A Man for All Seasons: a Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt A Man for All Seasons is a play by Robert Bolt based on the life of Sir Thomas More. The plot is based on the historical events leading up to the execution of Sir Thomas More, the 16th-century Chancellor of England, who refused to endorse King Henry VIII's wish to divorce his wife Catherine of Aragon, who did not bear him a son, so that he could marry Anne Boleyn, the sister of his former mistress. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و چهارم ماه ژوئن سال 2009 میلادی عنوان: مردی برای تمام فصول؛ نویسنده: رابرت بالت؛ مترجم فرزانه طاهری؛ تهران، نشر قطره، 1385، در 200ص؛ شابک 9789643416256؛ چاپ دوم 1392؛ چاپ سوم و چهارم 1393؛ چاپ پتجم 1395؛ موضوع نمایشنامه های نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده 20م داستان درباره ی ایستادگی «سر توماس مور» در برابر پادشاه «هنری هشتم» است، که میخواهد بر خلاف قانون کلیسا، همسر خود را طلاق دهد، و دوباره ازدواج کند.؛ رودررویی پادشاه یک‌دنده با کلیسا و قوانینش، نیاز به یک قربانی دارد، و قربانی کسی نیست جز مشاور پادشاه، «سر توماس مور»، که پس از درگذشت «کاردینال»، به مقام «صدراعظمی» رسیده، و پادشاه اصرار دارد، با توجه به صداقت و اعتباری که «سر تامس مور» میان مردم دارد، وی ازدواجش را تایید کند، تا نیازی به تایید «پاپ» نداشته باشد، اما «سر توماس» که به اخلاق و اصولش پایبند است، نمیتواند تن به آن خواسته بدهد، و همه مشکلات را به جان میخرد، تا اصولش را زیر پا نگذارد...؛ تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 13/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. 5 out of 5

    booklady

    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, parti 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!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Terrington

    A Man For All Seasons is a play concerned with morality, politics and the common man. It is a play that though written decades ago, holds great wisdom for the individual of today and in its own particular way utilises a known historical event to address particular issues. 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 A Man For All Seasons is a play concerned with morality, politics and the common man. It is a play that though written decades ago, holds great wisdom for the individual of today and in its own particular way utilises a known historical event to address particular issues. 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)] considering that so much pageantry surrounds politics (view spoiler)[and trials (hide spoiler)] . It is also fascinating that the main narrator for the play is called the Common Man and plays a variety of roles, occasionally breaking the fourth wall to speak to the audience. The most interesting aspect of this character is that he does nothing to prevent the disaster that occurs in the play, hinting that Bolt is aiming to show his audience that when the common individual does nothing to prevent it, tragedy will triumph. A Man For All Seasons is the story of a man who essentially does not bow to others putting pressure on his beliefs in regards to politics, religion and one state Marriage (a marriage that Henry VIII argued semantically, was invalid). Whether we are meant to be that man for all seasons is a question for the reader or observer to consider. The key issue of importance appears to be that one should recognise what they can do to prevent disaster from striking. Feel free to debate any of these issues in the comments section. As long as all comments are civilised I'm certain they will prompt interesting discussion.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melindam

    I'm currently listening to Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and will have to re-read this play as well. I know I loved it on first read many, many years ago, but I may re-evaluate. I'm currently listening to Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and will have to re-read this play as well. I know I loved it on first read many, many years ago, but I may re-evaluate.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jonfaith

    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 histori 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.

  6. 4 out of 5

    James M. Madsen, M.D.

    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 M 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.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!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    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 more noble by comparison. (In my head I picture him looking a little bit like Clark Kent. I d 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 more 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."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    A Man For All Seasons This review is dedicated to prisoners of conscience and those who swim against the tide by putting their own consciences first This play revolves around Sir Thomas More who out of his own religious and political conviction refuses to endorse the divorce of Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon .As a result he is condemned to die but refuses to renege right up to his executioner is a universal work which embodies the principals of freedom and conscience; the self-assurance to do A Man For All Seasons This review is dedicated to prisoners of conscience and those who swim against the tide by putting their own consciences first This play revolves around Sir Thomas More who out of his own religious and political conviction refuses to endorse the divorce of Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon .As a result he is condemned to die but refuses to renege right up to his executioner is a universal work which embodies the principals of freedom and conscience; the self-assurance to do what one knows to be right regardless of swimming against the . tide. In the age of political correctness it is as important to stand firm on ones own convictions and sense of right and wrong no matter what the consequences More refuses to bow down to the maxim that `every man has his price' and is an early political dissident -the forerunner of so many true prisoners of conscience throughout .More can be seen as the Danton , the Pastor Niemoller , the Lech Walesa the Vaclav Havel or one of the countless persecuted dissidents in dictatorships existing today such as Zimbabwe , Iran, North Korea and Red China I 'But it is far more than just a political work -it is full of human emotion and explores human theme it is wonderful to see how More' s wife and daughter stand by him to the end And the biting humor of the narrator presented as The Common Man adds a special quality to the play much like Shakespeare's Fallcroft A Man For All Seasons is definitely a literary masterpiece

  9. 4 out of 5

    Diana Long

    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 more. 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/acto 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 more. 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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John_Dishwasher John_Dishwasher

    This play balances a character of constancy, principle and conscience against a whole mob of shitheads who enjoy none of these qualities. Interesting to me is the mixture of respect and resentment that this character of conscience creates in those characters who live according to convenience and expediency. This play is probably a nice description of just about every martyrdom in every land across all the ages. And it shows why there are so few martyrs. It’s really really easy to bend your inner This play balances a character of constancy, principle and conscience against a whole mob of shitheads who enjoy none of these qualities. Interesting to me is the mixture of respect and resentment that this character of conscience creates in those characters who live according to convenience and expediency. This play is probably a nice description of just about every martyrdom in every land across all the ages. And it shows why there are so few martyrs. It’s really really easy to bend your inner rules. This is a two act play without scene breaks, which is an interesting formulation. Bolt’s use of a single character to thread together the contiguous scenes recalled to me Our Town.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ben Loory

    this is a very famous play and i'm not really sure why. thomas more 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. this is a very famous play and i'm not really sure why. thomas more 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.

  12. 4 out of 5

    pantea

    not my first read in over a month being for school:,) i can't wait to graduate not my first read in over a month being for school:,) i can't wait to graduate

  13. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    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 f 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.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mél ☽

    Yesterday I was listening to this podcast where the host asked listeners to make a list of things they would die for. Of course, the list, any list, would begin with loved ones, some possessions such as lands and money... and then we would arrive at the untangible. Values. Freedom, any kind of freedom. Truth. In this tragic historical drama, Bolt depicts what it was like to die for what is believed to be Moral Truth. A Man for All Seasons is a brilliant portrait of Sir Thomas More in his last yea Yesterday I was listening to this podcast where the host asked listeners to make a list of things they would die for. Of course, the list, any list, would begin with loved ones, some possessions such as lands and money... and then we would arrive at the untangible. Values. Freedom, any kind of freedom. Truth. In this tragic historical drama, Bolt depicts what it was like to die for what is believed to be Moral Truth. A Man for All Seasons is a brilliant portrait of Sir Thomas More in his last years as Lord Chancellor of England during the reign of Henry VIII and his famous Act of Supremacy. Although the story contains no surprises, Bolt succeeds at writing a compelling play that has readers wonder was it really all worth it? In a time where, as Rich put it “every man has his price”, should he have given his life for what he held to be right? Equally brilliant -if not more brilliant- is Bolt's prefatory text, in which he explains his passion for the 16th century Chancellor and his sacred principles.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Diabolica

    I didn't expect to like this book/play as much as I did. Story goes, our English teacher brings in the book and has us read the super long, boring prologue. Literally, the most boring thing in the entire book. Other than that, the book/play of fly. Set during King Henry VIII's rein, poor Sir Thomas More struggles to keep his family safe while struggling to resolve an issue against his moral conscience. It's all great. No spoilers, since it is history. I didn't expect to like this book/play as much as I did. Story goes, our English teacher brings in the book and has us read the super long, boring prologue. Literally, the most boring thing in the entire book. Other than that, the book/play of fly. Set during King Henry VIII's rein, poor Sir Thomas More struggles to keep his family safe while struggling to resolve an issue against his moral conscience. It's all great. No spoilers, since it is history.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ray LaManna

    A reread this play after some 35 years...it's still as powerful as it was 3 decades ago. I'll be attending its Broadway revival in a few weeks...this was Bolt's masterpiece. A reread this play after some 35 years...it's still as powerful as it was 3 decades ago. I'll be attending its Broadway revival in a few weeks...this was Bolt's masterpiece.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    As Claire says in her review, I too fell for Sir Thomas More while reading the script and have a lasting fondness for Paul Scofield after seeing his portrayal of More in the 1966 movie. Though I am not Catholic and am not a believer in organized religion and am saddened beyond reason when I think of anyone killing over such an issue, for More to be so clever while being so staunch in his convictions and to stand for his principles -- to argue in fact that it is the principle of standing on his p As Claire says in her review, I too fell for Sir Thomas More while reading the script and have a lasting fondness for Paul Scofield after seeing his portrayal of More in the 1966 movie. Though I am not Catholic and am not a believer in organized religion and am saddened beyond reason when I think of anyone killing over such an issue, for More to be so clever while being so staunch in his convictions and to stand for his principles -- to argue in fact that it is the principle of standing on his principles that should be respected by the King and the court -- made my anguished teenage heart cry even harder for the justice that I thought should be available in the world. The exchange regarding the maxim "Silence gives consent" has always stuck with me and shames me when I think of times I've held my tongue for the sake of courtesy or decorum.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Maxwell

    This was excellent. If you're at all interested in Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell, Thomas More, or any of the goings-on of the English court in the early 1500's, this is a good one to read. I was particularly intrigued by how differently Thomas Cromwell is portrayed in this, as a sort of villainous side character, as opposed to him as a main character in Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. 4/5 stars and I wish I could see it live, but I'll just have to settle for the film right now. This was excellent. If you're at all interested in Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell, Thomas More, or any of the goings-on of the English court in the early 1500's, this is a good one to read. I was particularly intrigued by how differently Thomas Cromwell is portrayed in this, as a sort of villainous side character, as opposed to him as a main character in Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. 4/5 stars and I wish I could see it live, but I'll just have to settle for the film right now.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chuck

    Prior to reading this play, I had seen the movie many years ago -- clearly too young to appreciate the substance that is here. This is not pseudo-Shakespeare in the manner of say, Lion in Winter -- there are so many elements of the human condition/conundrum displayed and debated in this play. I wonder how much of Thomas More's story here is dramatized/fictionalized and hope to read more on him. At the end of the day, this is not a story about being religious, pious, or superior, but an amazing s Prior to reading this play, I had seen the movie many years ago -- clearly too young to appreciate the substance that is here. This is not pseudo-Shakespeare in the manner of say, Lion in Winter -- there are so many elements of the human condition/conundrum displayed and debated in this play. I wonder how much of Thomas More's story here is dramatized/fictionalized and hope to read more on him. At the end of the day, this is not a story about being religious, pious, or superior, but an amazing story that shows us the importance of the separation of church and state.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    A very fast read; I managed to read it all in between loads of laundry. I would love to see this on the stage. I feel like the playwright captured Moore and Cromwell's positions and reputed attitudes very well. This is one of my favorite periods of history, and I never get tired of it. 3.5 rounded up. 2018 Popsugar- A book that is also a stage play or musical. A very fast read; I managed to read it all in between loads of laundry. I would love to see this on the stage. I feel like the playwright captured Moore and Cromwell's positions and reputed attitudes very well. This is one of my favorite periods of history, and I never get tired of it. 3.5 rounded up. 2018 Popsugar- A book that is also a stage play or musical.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    sounds boring and history-y, right? Ya well, it's also very, very interesting. It really made me think about... well a lot of stuff. Morality, matyrdom, how people become famous and reputed... Idk. It's good. sounds boring and history-y, right? Ya well, it's also very, very interesting. It really made me think about... well a lot of stuff. Morality, matyrdom, how people become famous and reputed... Idk. It's good.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Trudy

    A great classic, worth the read. We know how the story ends, and this one is a good depiction of the conflict between power --how arbitrary it can be-- and principle, in the face of all sorts of social pressure.

  23. 4 out of 5

    BarricadeBoiz

    wait so like the common man is death i love that. honestly got chills as we were discussing that in class

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kym Moore

    "If we lived in a State where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us good, and greed would make us saintly. And we'd live like animals or angels in the happy land that needs no heroes." ~Sir Thomas More I haven't read a play since I was in high school, during my drama club days when I actually participated in a play. While I am not the greatest fan of period pieces, the lessons of corruption - morality - politics and the common man remains evident through the evolution of time, place, "If we lived in a State where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us good, and greed would make us saintly. And we'd live like animals or angels in the happy land that needs no heroes." ~Sir Thomas More I haven't read a play since I was in high school, during my drama club days when I actually participated in a play. While I am not the greatest fan of period pieces, the lessons of corruption - morality - politics and the common man remains evident through the evolution of time, place, and opportunity. Is there a blurred line or expectation of compromise between bowing down to the pressures of choosing the populist wrong in exchange for what is right and just? The conversations in this book are quite relevant throughout history, even in our day and time. Henry VIII defied the law of the church by pushing for permission to marry the widow of his deceased brother. He has now become heir to the thrown but doesn't have a wife. Henry knows what the scripture says in Leviticus 18:16 "Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother's wife." Yet he pushes the church anyway to grant his wish to marry Catherine, his brother's widow. The problem comes when Catherine is unable to bear him a male heir and he wants the marriage annulled so he can marry another woman who will bear him a son. The pressure is on Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More who is committed to the covenant of the church and morally he cannot agree to changing the rules back just to suit King Henry's desires. Thus, he is thrown into jail. During the only visit More was allowed to have, his family (his wife Alice, his daughter Margaret, and his son-in-law William Roper) comes to see him in prison. They plea with him to compromise his belief about the annulment, but he sticks with his commitment and sorrowfully asks them to leave and move out of town. Thomas Cromwell and The Duke of Norfolk who were supposed to be More's friends maliciously craft grounds to have More put on trial for treason. It was interesting to me that when Cromwell addressed the jury, trying to demonize More in order to support his argument for his conviction, he said this, "There's nothing like darkness for sharpening the ear, and we listen." He further made this comment in his commentary, "So silence can, according to circumstances, speak. Consider, now, the circumstances of the prisoner's silence." Immediately they had Sir Thomas More beheaded. Even though More knew his demise, he stuck to his conscious and commitment. This is a good, short read that draws you in to the drama.

  25. 5 out of 5

    LPG

    After reading Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall Trilogy, and nearly getting a micro-tattoo of Thomas Cromwell on my leg as a result (don’t worry, best mate talked me out of it), it was lovely to get another perspective on the whole mess. I liked Mantel’s Moore too for the record - sure he’s portrayed as a zealot at court, and a tyrant at home, but I loved how often Cromwell longed to talked to him long after he was dead. I think about him, looking down from his tower window at a young Cromwell, already s After reading Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall Trilogy, and nearly getting a micro-tattoo of Thomas Cromwell on my leg as a result (don’t worry, best mate talked me out of it), it was lovely to get another perspective on the whole mess. I liked Mantel’s Moore too for the record - sure he’s portrayed as a zealot at court, and a tyrant at home, but I loved how often Cromwell longed to talked to him long after he was dead. I think about him, looking down from his tower window at a young Cromwell, already so much more than everyone else around him. Bolt’s Moore has much in common with Mantel’s Cromwell. You get the sense that he’s the only man with real feelings at Henry’s court, he’s fair to everyone, though they don’t realise it, and he says a great many flowery things about the meaning of life. But do you know the one constant across both these works? It’s that Henry was a spoilt man-child of a king who followed his dick. And I think that’s beautiful.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Minh

    3.5 stars If anybody petition for Goodreads to create a rating system with half star in it, I will be the first to sign. Format: Play Favorite characters : Thomas More - the witty, saintly guy who (view spoiler)[ finally dies (hide spoiler)] to preserve his selfhood, rather than suffer himself under the whims and wishes of his society, and betray his conscience by swearing to a lie. What's good about this? : The play is short, the dialogue had a lot of quotable quotes, clever uses of symbo 3.5 stars If anybody petition for Goodreads to create a rating system with half star in it, I will be the first to sign. Format: Play Favorite characters : Thomas More - the witty, saintly guy who (view spoiler)[ finally dies (hide spoiler)] to preserve his selfhood, rather than suffer himself under the whims and wishes of his society, and betray his conscience by swearing to a lie. What's good about this? : The play is short, the dialogue had a lot of quotable quotes, clever uses of symbolism to represent society and the principles. The characters are delineate well, with one or two of them a little bit one-dimensional, but not too shallow and unrealistic that render the play unbearable. It have lovely references to Machiavelli and Aristotle, a few lines of Latin for you to read out loud when you're drunk and feels like annoying your neighbor. The ending was tragic, and the book offers the perception into the apathy and selfishness of the individual. What I don't like : I am a reader who prefers prose above any form of art, more than poetry and definitely more than play. The dialogues were rather choppy, too many things happened at once, and I have to reread it over to understand what the heck is going on. I would rather prefer Cromwell's character to be more realistic, rather than just a bully who snobs into people's business. In the end, I understand More for what he did, but (view spoiler)[ in my humble, and perhaps erroneous opinion, More ought not sacrifice himself for a tangible ideal, because by killing himself, he would achieve only his preserved sense of selfhood, but what about his family, and more importantly, what about the people of England who were left in the corrupted hand of Rich and Cromwell? (hide spoiler)] . Favorite quotes : "Well, 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." "A man should go where he won't be tempted." "She's full of education, and it's a delicate commodity." "And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, and I am damned for not doing according to me, will you come with me, for fellowship?" "Better a live rat than a dead lion." My faveeeee! Conclusion: Recommended . Despite that this book was a mandatory read for my class, and the pressure of finishing it in three days had somewhat mitigate my pleasure of reading, I actually quite like it after analyzing it in class. In addition, I had the opportunity to glimpse into the beloved era of the Tudor, under the view of a man, the only man in England, or one of a few perhaps, who refused to sacrifice his belief. And here's a picture of Anne Boleyn, because she's one of the most interesting and hottest queen of all time, and just because I like to put picture of somebody. Adieu.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Walter

    When I read this play back in school, I was asked what the meaning of it was by my teacher. “Some men die in their bed, some lose their head.” I was keeping with this earned resignation of its protagonist as to the world, but not his beliefs. Yet, it didn’t quite come across at the time. No matter, the play is still a great read. Bolt doles out true wit without sarcasm or cutting down another person, while also garnished with wisdom. One great line that I forgot (and which isn’t in the movie)... Th When I read this play back in school, I was asked what the meaning of it was by my teacher. “Some men die in their bed, some lose their head.” I was keeping with this earned resignation of its protagonist as to the world, but not his beliefs. Yet, it didn’t quite come across at the time. No matter, the play is still a great read. Bolt doles out true wit without sarcasm or cutting down another person, while also garnished with wisdom. One great line that I forgot (and which isn’t in the movie)... The traitor Rich is being coaxed into betrayal, and once it’s implied that he will betray More, Cromwell says he looks depressed, Rich says he isn’t, he’s “Lamenting...I’ve lost my innocence.” To which Bolt via the character Cromwell adroitly notes about such a person: “You lost that some time ago. If you’ve only just noticed, it can’t have been very important to you.” Zing. Very true. Those “loss of innocence” stories told in the tone of lament always bothered me, and now I know why: they are disingenuous. And only a sincere writer would be able to bring that to the surface. And Bolt is part of that rare breed. Also, the play gives context, some history: all the people that went with the King for political gain in the plot against More…also met the same fate as More. Always in life, thinking that a betrayer won’t betray you, as you are you is sheer hubris. A very important lesson to understand.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Best. Play. Maybe Ever. Sir Thomas More was a man of principles inviolable, (view spoiler)[ and for such would he meet his doom (hide spoiler)] . He was a family man, a religious man - Saintly, even - and could not be tricked, bullied, or altogether coerced to break an oath he had made in good faith, even at the behest of Henry VIII. Robert Bolt's introduction to the play enriches the entire experience. We get to understand why More's story was so compelling to him, and what he hoped to achieve Best. Play. Maybe Ever. Sir Thomas More was a man of principles inviolable, (view spoiler)[ and for such would he meet his doom (hide spoiler)] . He was a family man, a religious man - Saintly, even - and could not be tricked, bullied, or altogether coerced to break an oath he had made in good faith, even at the behest of Henry VIII. Robert Bolt's introduction to the play enriches the entire experience. We get to understand why More's story was so compelling to him, and what he hoped to achieve with the narrative. I was able to appreciate how a relatively educated modern playwright found beauty in the pious fervor of a 16th century Chancellor, and find that beauty myself. Lessons are on display here that are all-too important in our times. About compromising our principles even though we might suffer no ill effects by doing so. One such exchange highlights this all too well: MORE ... What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you - where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? 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.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elevetha

    I love St. Thomas More but I generally detest reading plays so I wasn't quite sure of how I would feel about it. Thankfully, it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable school books in a long time. It was meaningful and ponderous, but witty all the same throughout. And I loved the idea of the Common Man, and how he tied most of the scenes together. Though I am still unsure why plays are published as books when they should obviously just be watched like they were meant to be... I love St. Thomas More but I generally detest reading plays so I wasn't quite sure of how I would feel about it. Thankfully, it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable school books in a long time. It was meaningful and ponderous, but witty all the same throughout. And I loved the idea of the Common Man, and how he tied most of the scenes together. Though I am still unsure why plays are published as books when they should obviously just be watched like they were meant to be...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Fran

    A man who upheld his convictions even onto death! (The plot of this historical play).

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