The significance of the Common Man in A Man For All Seasons Essay

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Have decided to explore how Bolt uses the Common Man to emphasise the features of the major characters

The significance of the Common Man in ‘A Man For All Seasons.’
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I have decided to explore how Bolt uses the Common Man to emphasise the features of the major characters and to illustrate the main themes of the play. I will also explore the role the common man plays in the structure of the play and his effect on the audience.

The Common Man is the only character who speaks directly to the audience, which I think is important as it means they can feel part of the play: there is interaction between the audience and actors. This communication may increase the
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The Common Man’s comments on the characters may also raise moral issues amongst the audience. For example, the Common Man remarks on More’s ‘wilful indifference to realities.’ In one sense the audience may agree with this as they may feel More does not take a very realistic approach to government. This is illustrated in scene two, when More and Wosley are discussing the divorce, they may feel that Thomas’s ideal to ‘govern the country by prayer’ is not very practical. Wosley: you’d like that wouldn’t you? To govern the country by prayer?’ More: ‘Yes I should’

However, others may disagree with the Common Man and think that More is realistic in judgement. For example, he ensures his family does not know any information they could be asked about in court, to make sure they stay out of danger. Therefore the common man is significant in the sense that his commentary has an effect on the audience: his judgements may cause the audience to ask themselves if Thomas More deserves the title ‘A Man For All Seasons?’

Because this play deals with events that actually occurred (eg: the reformation of the church) and people who actually lived, the common man plays a significant role in telling us the real events of the time, which relate to the plot. For example, in Act
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