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Tragic Hero: Sir Thomas More

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Tragedy is a theme that is shown throughout the play A Man for All Seasons, Sir Thomas More is the man that this tragedy is shown in. The story of Sir Thomas More is one of which a man must choose between what his king wants and his own morals. More’s tragic hero ways are shown when he goes against his king and sticks with his Catholic ways, by doing this More faces many obstacles and criticism to do what he feels is right and in the end he becomes a martyr for his beliefs. A tragic hero is summarized as a man/woman who has gone from joy to anguish over what they are standing for. Characteristics of these people are that they are a high person who face their fate with dignity, all of which Sir Thomas More accomplished.

One of More’s greatest strength is his faith. He brings this in very heavy with his own family, by talking with them in religious sense some times and by enforcing himself with his faith which his family endures and adores. When he is enforcing his laws on his family he is not violent or abusive, for instance, when he punishing his daughter he neither slaps or strikes her but instead he hits her with a feather not to cause damage but to send a message across. Sir Thomas loves his family with all of his heart and he tries to give them all he can, he does this in ways like giving his daughter the best education in all the land and by giving his wife a nice home and material goods. Sir Thomas More is a man of great honour and in work in the court he comes across people who try to ruin his honour by offering bribes, which he turns down easily.

Sir Thomas More was living the life of his dreams, being a lawyer in the courtroom and being named Lord Chancellor of England by the King who had great trust in him; until one day it all fell down around him. Many people trusted and believed in Sir Thomas so they followed him, when the King decided that he wanted to change the ways of the Catholic Church by divorcing and remarrying he wanted More to approve with it so the people would follow More and accept it. More realizes this now understands why the King gave him this new high power job as Chancellor and contemplates taking it. More finally gives in to the job, knowing this will draw more attention on to him which he does not want. More realizes that with this job he will have to take a stand on the Kings choice of divorcing his wife, which the King hopes he will endorse, while in More’s mind he condemns it and this will only lead to trouble.

As soon as Sir Thomas steps into office he is proposed with the question’should the King be allowed to divorce his present wife, because she cannot give birth to a child for him to carry on the throne, or should he have the right to marry someone else who can give him a child’. More is faced with the problem should he take an oath saying that he believes the King has the right to do what he wants or should he stick with his morals and turn down the oath which would probably spell certain doom for him. More keeps his answer silent and tells no one that he is against the King and his divorce, by staying silence the King assumes that he agrees with it for if he found out he doesn’t More could lose his life.

One of the first problems Sir Thomas More comes across is when the King passes the Act of Supremacy, which reads that if any one opposes the King changing the rules of the church and becoming the Head of the Church then they will be charged with treason and killed. Cromwell, a man of the King, believes that More opposes the act even though he doesn’t admit it and for this Cromwell wishes to charge Sir Thomas with treason. As a result of this Sir Thomas steps down as Lord Chancellor to take the spotlight off him. Cromwell believes that the Kings word is law and wishes that all should obey the King and his wishes, this is why he is hunting after More.

Since Sir Thomas More is being charged with treason he becomes a dangerous man to know, More realizes this so he tries to break friendships off with everyone he knows and cares for to help protect their own lives. More does this with his long time friend, Norfolk, who does not wish to break off his friendship with More. More goes to drastic measures to break off his ties with Norfolk to save his life; More does this by trying to start a fight between them. Norfolk believes that it is real and leaves in disgust over More and Sir Thomas is pleased that now Norfolk’s life should hopefully be spared.

Sir Thomas More’s life is now ruined, everything he had is gone now because he would not take oath to the King approving of his church take over and rule change. More does not mind because he is doing what he feels is right, while other people are just taking the oath not because of what it means but, because by doing it they are pleasing their King and saving their heads at the same time. Due to More’s beliefs and morals he is sent to trial and charged with treason and is sentenced to death, because he is sticking up for what is right no matter the cost.

Sir Thomas More is a Tragic Hero, because he was willing to give up his life style, job, and ultimately his life for what is right. He became a martyr for his faith and gave others an example of how much they should stick to their morals and beliefs and not let anyone change them no matter who they are.

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