A Man for All Seasons Questions and Answers
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Please explain the significance of this quotation from A Man for All Seasons: "For Wales? Why Richard, it profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world ... but for Wales!"

The significance of the quotation "For Wales? Why Richard, it profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world ... but for Wales!" from A Man for All Seasons is that the fact that Rich has accepted the position of Attorney-General for Wales indicates that he's sold his soul for a pittance.

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In Matthew 16:26 (21st Century King James Version), Jesus asks,

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Sir Thomas More's quip in A Man for All Seasons contrasts the grand folly of losing one's soul for the world with the petty absurdity of making the same loss for a small and relatively insignificant piece of the world. Richard Rich, he points out, has sold himself short by committing perjury and betraying his friend for such a trivial prize as the Attorney Generalship of a principality.

Beyond this, there are two further points of significance. Wales has been the butt of English jokes since time immemorial. In the Middle Ages, the English treated the Welsh as a foreign subject population who were barred from holding office in church or state. There were frequent uprisings, culminating in Owen Glendower's rebellion at the beginning of the fifteenth century. Anti-Welsh prejudice would therefore have been familiar to Sir Thomas More, with many...

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