Interpretive Essay

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Jaime Hill
J. M. J
Fourth Quarter English Interpretive Essay on A Man for All Seasons
A Man for All Seasons, by Robert Bolt illustrates the adult life of Sir Thomas More. In this play, the Common Man portrays man and his vices and sins showing the ordinary man of every age, class, culture, and society. Bolt uses the Common Man in the roles of the steward, boatman, and jailor to show how man can easily sin. Common Man exhibits man’s immorality through the roles of the steward, boatman, and jailor, in A Man for All Seasons.

Christian virtues are lacking in the Common Man’s role of the steward. The Common Man’s character, the steward, disrespects Rich by the snubbing manner of which he speaks to Rich. Likewise, when he spies on Thomas More he is being disloyal and dishonest. (pp. 40-42) Furthermore, the steward exhibits greediness by spying on More for Richard Rich, Thomas Cromwell, and Signor Chapuy in exchange for money. (pp.40-42) In addition, pride is conveyed towards Rich by the steward when he behaves as if he superior over Rich. (pp.104-105) Vices are seen in the steward’s behavior.

The Common Man in the role of the boatman demonstrates a lack of morality. The boatman displays dishonesty when he tries to overcharge Thomas for his boat ride home. (p. 25) Likewise, he is being greedy as he wants more money than he should receive for giving Thomas a ride home. (p. 25) Moreover, his disobeyed the law by ignoring the fixed boat fares. (p. 25) The boatman’s actions are sinful.

Lack of morals can be observed in the Common Man in the role of the Jailer. The vice of greed is seen by the Jailor when he is willing to accept fifty guineas from Cromwell in exchange for information about Thomas More. (p. 135) Likewise, the jailor is dishonest when he is willing to take anything that Thomas says and tell it to Cromwell to use as evidence against Thomas More in court. (pp. 135-136) Lack of charity is exhibited by the jailor when he does not allow Thomas’s family...
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