A Man For All Seasons

Religious Faith and Its Consequences in A Man for All Seasons 12th Grade

In A Man for All Seasons, religious faith is an important factor to both the plot and the presentation of characters and their beliefs. Moreover, playwright Robert Bolt’s almost comical, ironic approach adds to contrasting characters and bringing out the themes of morality and hypocrisy while highlighting that which the play revolves around: namely, More’s being torn between his faith and his allegiance.

Toward the beginning of the play, the audience is introduced to Wolsey, a man of God, whom Bolt uses to create a first impression of the Church. Wolsey is immediately a contrast to More, seen to be frantic in language and action. It is ironic, as one would not particularly expect this of a churchman. To follow the initial shock, Wolsey is seen to reprimand morality, as he finds More’s strong moral standing, an inconvenient “quint”. Bolt uses more irony in Wolsey putting out the candles, signifying the destroying of hope. Faith, which should be a source of hope, instead offers nine and this foreshadows More’s death at the end of the play, as that which should have been trustworthy, is not.

In opposition to Wolsey, and a lack of Faith and morality in the church, stands More. This is seen in his faith in prayer, as he claims they...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 933 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7487 literature essays, 2119 sample college application essays, 310 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in