Foreshadowing in a Man for All Seasons

Topics: Henry VIII of England, Foreshadowing, Catholic Church Pages: 3 (1004 words) Published: April 21, 2013
In the play A Man for All Seasons, foreshadowing is used to hint at the death of Thomas More. Foreshadowing is a warning or indication of a future event. The foreshadowing shows through quotes from various characters throughout the play and even from Thomas More. King Henry wishes to divorce his current wife Catherine to be with another woman, but divorce is against the Catholic Church. In this case, King Henry needs all the support he can get to override the law of the church. He even goes as far as to start his own church and be the head of it. Thomas More cannot support King Henry’s divorce though because Thomas is devoted to the Catholic Church and its laws. He is a man who stands by his beliefs. This causes trouble with King Henry and all the men who support him. In the end, Thomas’s friends betray him and he dies. Many quotes from Thomas’s steward, Thomas More, and King Henry foreshadow Thomas More’s death in A Man for All Seasons.

Thomas More’s oath to God is how he identifies himself and it is very important to him. While Thomas is a very honest and pure man, his steward makes a comment saying, “ My master Thomas More would give anything to anyone. Some say that’s good and some say that’s bad, but I say he can’t help it – and that’s bad. Because some day someone’s going to ask him for something that he wants to keep; and he’ll be out of practice ” (Bolt 1.17). The steward says this right after Rich takes the silver cup Thomas gives to him. The silver cup is a bribe a woman gives to Thomas, but Thomas does not accept bribes. The steward shows how kind Thomas is by not accepting the bribe and giving the bribe away. This quote foreshadows Thomas’s death, because the steward is predicting how King Henry will ask Thomas to support his divorce. The steward notes how Thomas would do just about anything for anyone, but Thomas will not be able to support the divorce because Thomas cannot give away his oath to God. This causes King Henry to build up resentment...
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