1. Dramatic Purpose:
The dramatic purpose that Robert Bolt conveys is thematic and consists of ideas of identity and conscience. The dramatic purpose also includes the theme of anti-authoritarian and corruption. The reason that Bolt uses this is to show that people in power are corrupt and evil. Finally Bolt conveys support for the letter of the law.
The backdrop of A Man for All Seasons is 1530’s England Soon before the Reformation. The play is also based on real events in English history. The reasoning for Bolt using this backdrop could be to convey points in the dramatic purpose, specifically that all people in power become corrupt and evil. Relating this to the past with current times proves that this statement hold some truth.
3. Meaning of Title:
The meaning of the title A Man for All Seasons is ironic. In the play it is seen that Sir Thomas More was multi-faced and was in fact not a man for all seasons. Bolts reason behind this could be again to show that those in power become corrupt.
The style of A Man for All Seasons is continuous action. The reasoning for Bolt using continuous action could be to show how quickly corruption can change someone; and also how More’s moral values caused his death and in a way relating to King Lear’s wheel of fortune.
The dialogue and language of A Man of All Seasons has two distinct differences. The dialogs between all characters except the common man are very back and forth. These conversations are often filled with many questions and sometimes are in the expletive. The Language of the common man is more one sided and is a narrative. Bolts purpose of this could be to include the powerful and the common both sides telling their story and view of events in the play.
6. Point of View:
The point of view can be seen to follow both in my opinion can be seen to follow both the fall of Sir Thomas More and the rise of Richard Rich. I believe that Bolt did this to show how power will corrupt those who have it and allowed for Richard Rich to gain more wealth and a greater status.
The Structure of the Play can be broken into two distinct parts. The majority of the play is from the point of view of those who have power, while the longer more narrative parts are in the point of view of the Common Man. Bolts purpose for this is to show perspectives of both the powerful and the common man. Both sides of the story are needed to have a fair and accurate interpretation of the play.
Bolt uses characters of the play to convey themes, motifs, and most importantly his dramatic purpose. The most important characters are seen to convey these are Sir Thomas More, Richard Rich, and the Common Man. The following was taken from the “People In The Play” section which appears on page xxi of A Man for All Seasons. Sir Thomas More is a man in his late forties. He is not robust but the life of the mind in him is so abundant and debonair that it illuminates the body. His face is intellectual and quickly, the norm to which it returns serious and compassionate. Richard Rich is in his early thirties. A studious unhappy face lit by the fire of banked-down-appetite. He is an academic hounded by self-doubt to be in the world of affairs and longing to be rescued from himself. The Common man wears from head to foot black tights which delineate his pot-bellied figure. His face is crafty, loosely benevolent, its best expression that of base humor. The reason that Bolt goes into such great detail in describing these characters could be both to show realism in his characters and also to use his characters as a catalyst for his themes, motifs, and dramatic purpose. It is also important to note that in these descriptions Bolt has added some foreshadowing specifically in Richard Rich’s description of “longing to be rescued by himself” showing that he is his own enemy.
9. Dramatic Tensions:
The Major conflict of A Man...
Links: to Other Plays:
One similarity between this work and The Crucible is that both plays take place in the past and are based on historical events. Another similarity is that both John Proctor and Thomas More have a feeling of guilt for past mistakes. Also Both Thomas More and John Proctor have a deep value for a good conscience.
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