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ACT ONE, SCENE FIVE
Common Man gathers the Cardinal’s red robe and hat up off the floor and puts them in the basket he is carrying. He takes a book from the same basket and, pulling reading glasses from his pocket, reads about the death and possible causes of death of Cardinal Wolsey. More, who did not want this, is now Lord Chancellor. The Common Man describes Sir Thomas in glowing terms.
The Common Man is very useful. Here he fills us in on what has happened since scene four ended.
Wolsey’s death as Chancellor foreshadows the danger that lies ahead for Sir Thomas More as chancellor. The king was displeased with Wolsey and will be displeased with the new chancellor as well.
Sir Thomas will soon be in trouble unless he helps the king in the matter of the divorce. As we see the Cardinal’s robe and hat lifeless on the floor, we have a visual impression of what can lie ahead for Sir Thomas.