Essay on Corruption in the Play “a Man for All Seasons”

1738 Words Feb 20th, 2012 7 Pages
Corruption in the play “A Man For All Seasons”

The main plot in the play “A Man For All Seasons” by Robert Bolt is corruption, more specifically political corruption. While the play focuses heavily on the social demise, and moral strength of the character Thomas More. It also covers the inverse process with other characters, such as; Richard Rich, Thomas Cromwell, and the king of England Henry VIII. In the play Thomas More stands as a beacon of selfhood and virtue, while the other three men used manipulation and disloyalty, to gain wealth and power, no matter what the consequences may be. The character Richard Rich did not start out corrupt in the beginning of the play, but became corrupt with prospect of becoming wealthy and
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While he ponders what Cromwell will do to More, he really do not care what happened to him, he thought More would eventually do as Cromwell say, but he is proving wrong, and soon realizes that More is not as weak as he is, and is not easily sway by power and money as he is. In the play Rich’s slow rise to power is shown in his attire, in the beginning he was wearing old, shabby clothes, that he complained about, but as he rises in the ranks, his attire became more fancy, which is what he as always wanted, and got it a the price of selling his soul. In the play we watched More’s fortunes dwindled, while Rich’s flourished, an indication that Rich is reaping the benefits of evil and corrupted ways. At the end of the play Rich lied under oath about More’s real thoughts on the King’s divorce, which ultimately led to More’s beheading, that scene signifies Rich’s complete transformation as corrupt and amoral character. Rich sacrificed his moral conscience in exchange for success, and a high-ranking office, something that More, a more moral character would never do. Thomas Cromwell is another character in the play that displayed corrupted ways. He was the primary person responsible for the downfall of More. While Rich’s immoral acts were reluctant at times, Cromwell’s was steadfast, he was really dedicated and motivated in taken down More, and did it with practically no guilt whatsoever. Cromwell’s sole purpose in the play
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