By Leonard Smith (auth.)
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Additional info for A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt
E. lacking in caution), in another way he is, because he is also courageous, which is why Norfolk's accusation of 'cowardice' makes him excited and angry. It also makes him declare his reason, and the stage direction, Stops interested, makes it seem as if he is thinking this out for himself for the first time : 'Why, it's a theory yes; you can't see it; can't touch it; it's a theory . ) But what matters to me is not whether it's true or not but that I believe it to be true, or rather not that I believe it, but that I believe it.
Commentary Alice's entry wearing a big coarse apron reinforces the Common Man's words, 'Sir Thomas More's again gone down a bit ' , and Bolt also emphasises this by asking for a lighting change to make the set look 'drab and chilly '. That Chapuys and the Att endant arc cloaked brings an air ofintrigue, but when Chapuys wraps his cloak about him, it serves to emphasise the cold even further. Although the interlude between Chapuys and the Attendant serves us a moment of light relief, it also raises the important point 'goodness presents its own difficulties'.
Commentary After two scene changes without the Common Man, he now comes into his own again, as a Jailer. Is Bolt commenting that, in the last analysis, it is the common men, in any country, in any age, who allow good men to suffer, because of their complicity in the punishment? As the Common 37 Man says: 'I'd let him out if I could but I can't. Not without taking up residence in there myself. ' His off-hand, dismissive, colloquial style shows that he knows he is not fulfilling his 'obligations' (a word which is later used about More, who did fulfil all his obligations) as a man, but is trying to convince himself that there is nothing he can do about it.
A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt by Leonard Smith (auth.)