A Man For All Seasons, And Elia Kazan 's On The Waterfront

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Only fools follow their standard of personal integrity. Discuss. Values and morals are often instilled in people as they grow up, but the extent to which one chooses to follow these principles can be greatly swayed by how strong their sense of personal integrity is. As individuals are exposed to an array of varying perspectives and multiple values, one 's own certainty about the interpretation or application of a particular principle may lessen, opening up the possibility of accepting an alternative position. Robert Bolt’s play, ‘A Man For All Seasons’, and Elia Kazan’s ‘On the Waterfront’, we see that integrity is impossible without a conscience guided by long reflection upon the inner character of justice. Bolt’s ethical protagonist…show more content…
Bolt’s lead character is a man of strict moral righteousness; he never once wavered, which consequently leads to his fall from grace and untimely death. More is not setting out to be a hero or martyr. He is a lawyer and sees the law as a way to live peacefully in the world. From his choices, it is evidently clear that More is no simple common man. He treads the road that only a few mortals would dare travel down to. His critics see his morality as impractical but for More, his conscience is the only thing “(he) believes to be true”. As a man of virtue, More stands alone in the play. Surrounded by a cast of seemingly weak and basic characters, More’s morality is even more manifest. Such characters as Richard Rich and the Common Man demonstrate how most normal individuals will be guided by their needs, not their consciences. Rich is intoxicated with avarice and believes that materialistic items such as clothes and money will gain him the respect and power that he ‘rightly deserves’. More conversely knows well that respect and admiration cannot be brought and that the integrity of men is to be measured by conduct and not their satisfaction of hubris. It is obvious that More understands the nuance of every political move, as he mentions what would happen if Wolsey falls. He conveys his competence by his careful handling of events. Because of his intellectual prowess, More has managed to keep the people he cares around him safe by using the words of the law ‘in

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