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Please explain the significance of this quotation."For Wales? Why Richard, it profit a...

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utilityfan | Student, College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted April 20, 2012 at 4:24 AM via web

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Please explain the significance of this quotation.

"For Wales? Why Richard, it profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world.. but for Wales!"

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted April 20, 2012 at 4:00 PM (Answer #1)

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In the struggle between Sir Thomas More and Henry VIII, More quotes the Bible passage (Mark 8:36)  “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” as an admonition to Henry for his abandonment of the Roman Catholic Church in order to get a divorce (which would then allow Henry to marry and thereby get Wales under his power.)  More’s quotation is to show how it is a mistake; he compares the primitive, barely worthy Wales (not worth losing his soul) to the “whole world” in an ironic chastisement to Henry (actually addressed to Richard Rich, a court lackey who is trying to get in Henry's favor by taking his side.)

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