By Leonard Smith (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt
After this, it is Cromwell who symbolically drags the props basket off stage, because the state had no further use for the Common Man in any further role. He had fulfilled his multi-purposes.
His flattery of her custards and dress, quite justifiably, is rebuked. Notice the stage directions in this important exchange: he regards her with frozen attention; he nods once or twice ;holds out his hands ; but she refuses them, remaining where she is, glaring at him ; he is in great fear of her and just hanging on to his self-possession. When she tells him, frankly and honestly, that she doesn't understand why he has to die, she throws it straight at his head , which leaves him gasping. But then, swiftly she crosses the stage to him; he turns and they clasp each other fiercely .
But the point that Bolt is making here is that it doesn't matter whether the 'theory' More believed in was religious, political or scientific , he would forfeit everything for the right to believe it. Even here, More can be witty , by changing 'I trust I make myself clear' to 'I trust I make myself obscure', which sounds much more modern than sixteenth-century ; and then the quick-fire pun on 'obscurity' (meaning 'out of the public eye') would not be out of place in a Tom Stoppard play . Norfolk thinks More is sick if he seeks obscurity (in the above sense) when he is such a well-lovedand respected man ; he is not in danger of being persecuted, as he would be in Spain.
A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt by Leonard Smith (auth.)