A Man for All Seasons

December 20, 2016 Law

The Lasting Impact
Titles in books have an underlying meaning that connects to the story. Some titles have an obvious meaning, but others are difficult to identify. Some titles are left open to a person??™s own interpretation. In the book, A Man for All Seasons, by Robert Bolt, there is no correct answer to what the title symbolizes. ???A Man for All Seasons??? symbolizes the relationship between the common man??™s fear and Thomas More??™s integrity to fight for their own beliefs.
The common man represents most of the lower class characters. He shows the attitudes and opinions that are common to everyone. ?????™ [??¦] Only an unhappy few were found to set themselves against the current of their times, and in so doing to court disaster. [??¦] Imprisonment without trial, and even examination under torture, were common practice,??™??? (81). The common man tends to side with the law. He fears that if he acts out from what is normal, it will result in a caustic diatribe or an abject punishment. When the brave common men did stand up for what they believed, it only resulted in a disaster. Therefore, he knows that he has to keep his opinions to himself. More also believes this to be true about the common man. ?????™[??¦]You see, we speak of being anchored to our principles. But if the weather turns nasty you up with an anchor and let it down were there??™s less wind, and the fishing??™s better. And ???Look,??? we say, ???look, I??™m anchored!??? (69). He states that the common man??™s opinion changes habitually based on what other people think. In fear of death, the common man says ?????™Better a live rat than a dead lion??™??? (127) when he puts More in jail. He believes that life is always better than death no matter how immortal it is. He never wants to show his own opinion because he wants to stay alive. He also says, ?????™I??™m breathing??¦ Are you breathing too … It??™s nice, isn??™t it It??™s not difficult to keep alive, [??¦] if you must make trouble, make that sort of trouble that??™s expected. [??¦],??? (162-163). The common man lives on for another ???season??? because he kept his opinions to himself. He sacrifices his freedom of speech to stay alive.
Thomas More is the polar opposite of a common man. ?????™But what matters to me is not whether it??™s true or not but that I believe it to be true[??¦]??™???(91). More does not care about anyone??™s opinion but his own. No one??™s opinion can change his point of view. He only worries about his own beliefs. This seems to be a positive aspect when King Henry comes to speak with More. ?????™[??¦] You??™re known to be honest, [some people] follow me because I wear the crown, [??¦] and there is a mass that follows me because it follows anything that moves- and there is you,??™??? (55). He respects More??™s opinion because he knows it will always be truthful. More is never afraid to show his opinion. However, others believe his opinion is not good. Wolsey says ?????™[??¦] If you could just see facts flat on, without that horrible moral squint; with just a little common sense, you could have been a statesman,??™??? (19) about Thomas More. Instead of going with the common man, More shows his opinion. With his opinion, he lost an opportunity for a job as a political leader. In addition, More lost his life. ?????™My master Thomas More would give anything to anyone. Some say that??™s good and some say that??™s bad, but I say he cant help it-and that??™s bad??¦ because someday someone??™s going to ask him for something that he wants to keep; and he??™ll be out of practice. There must be something he wants to keep,??™??? (17). Thomas is willing to give up his life if that means he keeps his beliefs. In the end, he loses his life and does not live for another ???season.???
By showing his opinion, Thomas More died. However, ultimately it was the best decision. He died for his rights of freedom of speech and his faith. He was the first person who was not afraid to speak for what he believed in, even if it had its consequences. If it were not for people like Thomas More, everyone would be a common man. Everyone would be taken advantage of. He was the start of a chain reaction that led others to realize how important an individual??™s opinion really is.


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