This is a essay that I wrote after reading A Man for All Seasons -
Was Sir Tomas More's decision correct?
There are often many different ways to look at situations. Usually when situations are viewed from different points of view, differing opinions can be found. In A Man for All Seasons there are clearly a lot of opinions about More's silence to the oath required by the act of succession. In the play the church is represented by the Spanish ambassador. He interprets More's silence as a gesture of allegiance to the Catholic church and as a belief in the Pope's power. The state represented by the King and his followers are furious that More is not whole hartedly supporting him in his act of supremacy. Finally, More's family simply wants him to stay alive. Was More correct? Depending on which view point More's decision is looked at from, either the Church, the State or More's family there are differing opinions about his correctness.
In the eyes of the church More's actions, or lack of action as the case may be, was looked upon very favourably. Catholics believe that the pope has the power to make rulings on points of religion and morality. The pope believed that the state had no business meddling in the affairs and powers of the church. Thus when the Pope declared that the marriage between Catherine and Henry would stand, he was enforcing a law within the church that his followers would have to live by. Therefore from the point of view of the catholic church, which was represented in the play by Chapuys, More's decision was correct. For if one believes, as More did, in an everlasting sole and the catholic interpretation of life & death then you must believe that More...