Everyone in " A Man For All Seasons" by Robert Bolt, is pursuing their own ends. What makes More special?

Essay by SingsCollege, UndergraduateA, December 1997

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Often, it is impossible to reach our goals without resorting to some sort of pragmatism. In A Man For All Seasons every character has their own ends to meet, and the only distinguishable feature between them is how they go about it. Some characters disregard all sense of morality as they plunge into a approach which primarily encompasses self-interest. In all, most of the characters in the play personify selfishness in one way or another. Of course there are some whose selfishness is more noticeable than others, however at some point they are all deficient in their consideration of others and live chiefly for personal profit. All, except for one. Sir Thomas More is a man who subconsciously is a slave to his conscience. He executes selfless acts in order to do what he knows is legal, and what he thinks is right. He is one of very few people who have died with their integrity intact.

He is a special man, who is steadfast in upholding his principles, even when death breathes down his neck. Sir Thomas More truly is a paragon.

One character in the play particularly concerned with his goals, regardless of the path he must take to reach them is Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is the personification of pragmatism and is willing to do anything, providing the end sees him satisfied. '...our job as administrators is to make it as convenient as we can,' Cromwell states in reference to the King's divorce and the pursuit of More's support. He is '...the King's ear,' and is thus responsible for all the menial tasks which the King would otherwise have to perform, including seeing to it that Sir Thomas More either agrees to give the King his support or is punished. One of these duties is to spy on...