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Word Count: 619
The true story of Sir Thomas More whose refusal to recognize Henry VIIIs marriage to Anne Boleyn cost him his life Robert Bolts classic about the rise and fall of Thomas More who would not go against his conscience even to satisfy the demands of his King More is the central character in this play and we watch as he struggles with being polarized between his loyalty to his king and the loyalty to the Holy Church Henry is married to a barren Catherine of Aragon and is desperate to produce a male heir He wishes to divorce his queen so that he might marry Anne Boleyn Seeking Mores endorsement for his actions Henry boldly declares himself head of the church in England and demands an oath of allegiance from his subjects More makes every effort to skirt the issue choosing to remain silent on the subject of the divorce while trying to keep his loyalty to Henry from coming into question Steadfast in his refusal to renounce the authority of the Pope More is subjected to imprisonment and falls victim to the perjured testimony of Richard Rich which paves the way to Mores conviction as a traitor Bolt provides a narrator to the story in the comedic person of a character known only as the Common Man who plays multiple roles during the course of the play but keeps us grounded in the action that is or has unfolded before us It is a wonderful addition to this historical opus However active the King had become he needed councillors and especially he needed a chancellor The choice of Wolseys successor fell after some difficult discussions on Thomas More More whom Wolsey had allegedly regarded as the only man in the kingdom fit to succeed him had virtually all the qualifications For twelve years he had been a councillor and courtier very close to the King and
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