The historical More acted out of religious belief as well as integrity, and he became a saint for his forbearance. For Sir Thomas More, God—not a political sovereign self-appointed to head the Church—had jurisdiction over a human's soul, and More felt compelled to honor God's rule over an earthly king's command. Robert Bolt modernizes More's beliefs however. Robert Bolt's Thomas More tells his daughter that for a man to take an oath is to hold "his own self in his own hands," a sentiment more aligned with the individualism of the modern period,...
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