A Man for All Seasons Questions and Answers
by Robert Bolt

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In the play "A Man for All Seasons" what were Thomas More's reasons for not assenting to the acts of supremacy and of succession?

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melaniew eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Essentially More is an Honest man, as King Henry VIII points out to him in their conversation early in Act 1.  That need to remain honest extended from a fear of going to hell.  This was the 16th century and everyone, even the King himself fully believed that they would be judged by God for their actions.  Henry got himself in a lather over the reading from Leviticus that said Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother's wife.  He wanted a son as the throne was not believed secure under a woman at this time.

People also believed that bad luck was a sign of God's disatisfaction with you.  Henry took the absence of a living son (Sons were wither stillborn or died in infancy) as Punishment for imploring...

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Thomas More is a "man of selfhood". He was much sainted and known for his refusal to swear an oath to King Henry's supremacy to the Pope. He is the main protagonist of the story, and also the hero of it. He looks into his inner self and being for motivations and support without the external influence of other people's ideals to influence his decisions and actions. If an idea or thought is good to his conscience, he would follow and live up to it, but if it's the opposite, he would not even take a second look and discard it away. If the person in power has poor leadership qualities and not fit to rule over the country, he would not submit to his power and control. This shows that he has his own moral core values and he won't get pushed around by other people, only with himself