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Clear-cut yet restrained language that brings to life the choices made by a saint.

  • May 9, 2013
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Rating:
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A wonderful and dramatic companion to the Selected Writings of Saint Thomas More, Robert Bolt's A Man For All Seasons is a superb piece of literary drama, because it makes More's own writings, specifically The Sadness of Christ, come to vivid life. Christ's sadness and More's understanding of our Savior's heavyheartedness unto death, by way of the play, presents a reliable and honest portrait of Thomas More the man and the saintly holiness of his unyielding commitment to the Truth in him, for Christ who is in us is apart of us. And in the play, on page 121, More lets that very fact be made known that his faith is an integral slice to his very identity, his being. It is distinct, especially when he responds to Norfolk upon being strongly advised to give in and submit to King Henry VIII's oath to the Act of Succession, whereby the king is viwed as the Supreme Head of the English Church which incorrectly overrides the authority of the Vatican: "I can't give in, Howard. You might as well advise a man to change the color of his eyes..." Strictly adhereing to a commitment, especially a religious one, can, in of itself, be a cross, because it implies so many different things, not just a physical suffering, but it includes doubt, torturous mental anguish and unthinkable sacrifices of the most terrifying sort. Are the actions that lead to a particular moment in one's life a mere social-political-philosophical stance or a divine offering of the most extreme sort to test that human love for God? In A Man For All Seasons, More's response to his son-in-law, Roper on page 126 is thus: "Now listen, Will. And Meg, you listen, too, you know I know you well. God made the angels to show him splendor-as he made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity. But Man he made to serve him wittily, in the tangle of his mind! If he suffers us to fall to such a case that there is no escaping, then we may stand to our tackle like champions...if we have the spittle for it. And no doubt it delights God to see splendor where He only looked for complexity. But it's God's part, not our own, to bring ourselves to that extremity! Our natural business lies in escaping-so let's get home and study this bill." For the majority of us, we do not have the 'spittle' as More describes, because pragmatic intellectualism is easier to subscribe to than divine bondage and empyrean love. And when one accepts the latter, as More ultimately does, he is punished for it, first with a stripping away of his title and affluence, then with imprisionment and separation from his family: "Content? If they'd open a crack that wide, I'd be through it." Pg 141. Like Jesus Christ, whom More felt in him all along, he too suffered and felt sadness unto death. A Man For All Seasons is a riviting play, one that makes you take a closer look at the meaning of commitment and what it entails. Like Peter, after reading this play, I would definately say that Thomas More was a contributing rock to the foundation of the Church.
Clear-cut yet restrained language that brings to life the choices made by a saint.

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More A Man for All Seasons reviews
review by . June 25, 2006
A wonderful and dramatic companion to the Selected Writings of Saint Thomas More, Robert Bolt's A Man For All Seasons is a superb piece of literary drama, because it makes More's own writings, specifically The Sadness of Christ, come to vivid life. Christ's sadness and More's understanding of our Savior's heavyheartedness unto death, by way of the play, presents a reliable and honest portrait of Thomas More the man and the saintly holiness of his unyielding commitment to the Truth in him, for Christ …
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"A Man for All Seasons is a stark play, sparse in its narrative, sinewy in its writing, which confirms Mr Bolt as a genuine and solid playwright, a force in our awakening theatre."—Daily Mail

--This text refers to an alternatePaperbackedition.
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ISBN-10: 0679728228
ISBN-13: 978-0679728221
Author: Robert Bolt
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Vintage
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