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A Man for All Seasons, religious faith is an important factor to both the plot and the presentation of characters and their beliefs. Moreover, playwright Robert Bolt’s almost comical, ironic approach adds to contrasting characters and bringing out the themes of morality and hypocrisy while highlighting that which the play revolves around: namely, More’s being torn between his faith and his allegiance.
Toward the beginning of the play, the audience is introduced to Wolsey, a man of God, whom Bolt uses to create a first impression of the Church.
Wolsey is immediately a contrast to More, seen to be frantic in language and action. It is ironic, as one would not particularly expect this of a churchman. To follow the initial shock, Wolsey is seen to reprimand morality, as he finds More’s strong moral standing, an inconvenient ‘quint’.
Bolt uses more irony in Wolsey putting out the candles, signifying the destroying of hope. Faith, which should be a source of hope, instead offers nine and this foreshadows More’s death at the end of the play, as that which should have been trustworthy, is not.
In opposition to Wolsey, and a lack of Faith and morality in the church, stands More. This is seen in his faith in prayer, as he claims they…
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