Study Guide

A Man for All Seasons Richard Rich's Chain of Office and Clothing

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Richard Rich's Chain of Office and Clothing

Usually, makeover scenes in movies are fun—you get a montage set to bouncy music, a mirror reveal, and a bunch of open-mouthed onlookers saying, "Whoaaa."

Unfortunately, Richard Rich isn't like Cinderella, or Tai in Clueless, or Mia in The Princess Diaries. For one thing, he's a dude. For another thing, he doesn't magically take off his glasses and get hot.

Instead, when Richard Rich gets madeover, he gets evil.

When we first see Richard Rich, he looks fairly normal and conservatively dressed for a man of his time. But as the story goes on and he sinks deeper into corruption, his clothing gets more and more colorful and stylish. It's almost as if his more elaborate outer-wear is trying to mask his inner corruption.

While he seems colorful on the outside, his heart is cold and hard on the inside, as he recommends torturing More (which Cromwell can't do on the king's orders) and finally perjures himself in order to secure a death sentence for More. The increasingly fancy clothing shows just how taken he's become with power and wealth—he's a hollow man, although he cuts an increasingly impressive figure.

At the end of the movie, Rich—at his most fancily dressed—betrays More, falsely testifying that More openly dissed parliament and the king's break with the Church when speaking with him. More then asks to see the new chain of office Rich is wearing, and notes that he's been made Attorney General of Wales. Quoting the Bible, More quips,

MORE: Why, Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world. But for Wales?

So, Rich may have succeeded in getting More killed. But he totally gets owned by More—verbally, at least.

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