A Man For All SeasonsBy Robert Bolt — страница 2

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(Bolt 67). More again shows his to sacrifice his religious beliefs, even for the greatest of personal gain. In the remaining action of the play, More’s chastity remains untarnished as his likely end nears. After sacrificing his friendship with Norfolk and becoming a prisoner, More is then brought before the Seventh Commission and does not waiver on his refusal to swear to the Act of Succession. His reasoning is clear in scene seven as, in his discussion with Lady Margaret, he affirms his belief that an oath is a sacred promise to God and then states: When a man takes an oath, Meg, he’s holding his own self in his own hands. Like water…and if he opens his fingers then – he needn’t hope to find himself again. Some men aren’t capable of this, but I’d be loathe to think

your father one of them. (Bolt 83) Even after the pleading of his loving wife and daughter, More continued to remain strong up to the very moment of his execution. Thomas More felt his loyalty to his religious beliefs and his conscience defined his own sense of self. He believed “that without a certain something life was valueless. That certain something was a belief in ‘a power above ourselves’ – a belief in the scruples of conscience.” (Coles 10). More’s refusal to deny his virtue is, in essence, what causes his inability to swear to the oath. More was a very orthadox Catholic and for him an oath was something perfectly specific. It was an invitation to God, an invitation God would not refuse, to act as a witness, and to judge; the consequence of perjury was

damnation, for More another perfectly specific concept. So for More the issue was simple (though remembering the outcome it can hardly have been easy). (Bolt xiii) More did not choose martyrdom, but simply to remain true to his religious beliefs, at any cost. BIBLIOGRAPHY Bolt, Robert. A Man For All Seasons. Toronto: Irwin, 1963. Coles Editorial Board, ed. A Man For All Seasons: Notes. Toronto: Coles, 1994. Hodges, John C., et al. Harbrace College Handbook For Canadian Writers. 4th ed. Toronto: Harcourt, 1994. Houghton Mifflin Co. The American Heritage Dictionary & Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus. electronic ed. China: Seiko, 1993.