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Free Study Guide-A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt-Free Book Summary
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SYMBOLISM/MOTIFS/IMAGERY/SYMBOLS

Water and Dry Land

In this play, water symbolizes instability and natural forces and dry land symbolizes stability and society.

The Gilded Cup

The gilded cup is a symbol of (hate, evil) corruption (of money and material goods). The incorruptible More does not want the cup and the very corruptible Rich does want it.

Satire and Wit

Satire and wit surfaced throughout much of the play. Sir Thomas was a naturally jovial and friendly person. He only strayed from this when necessary. Separately some of the exchanges between the various characters were funny. An example is the exchange between Cromwell and the publican.


IMPORTANT/KEY FACTS SUMMARY

Title: A Man for All Seasons

Author: Robert Bolt

Date Published: 1960

Meaning of the Title: Sir Thomas More was a multi-faceted man. Also, he would be a good addition to any age.

Setting: England during the reign of King Henry VIII

Genre: Historical drama

Protagonist: Sir Thomas More

Antagonist: The main antagonist is Thomas Cromwell. Richard Rich, The Duke of Norfolk, and Alice are minor antagonists.

Mood: suspenseful, has a feeling of impending doom.

Point of View: The playís point of view seems to be that of The Common Man, who talks to us at various points during the play. His point of view is finally spelled out in the last few lines of the play. ďIt isnít difficult to keep alive, friends-just donít make trouble-or if you must make trouble, make the sort of trouble thatís expected.Ē However, as the story is presented, many of us are left with a different point of view, that Sir Thomas Moreís approach to life is better. Sir Thomas protected his conscience with his life.

Tense: Present

Rising Action: The rising action is when More is called to meet with Cardinal Wolsey who attempts to get More to sign a letter to the Pope requesting his help in dissolving the royal marriage between Henry and Catherine.

Exposition: The exposition is when Alice and the Duke of Norfolk discuss the falcon and the heron. The birds and their actions represent what will take place during the play. And, Moreís following remarks attempt to minimize the seriousness of the tale, just as he attempts to minimize the seriousness of the situation in which he finds himself.

Climax: More is condemned to death and finally tells everyone what his real opinions are.

Outcome: Sir Thomas More is beheaded.

Major Theme: Be true to what you believe.

Minor Themes: No man can serve two masters. Every man has his price.

Vocabulary:
Adamantine - unyielding
Farrier - blacksmith
Publican - a keeper of an inn or tavern

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