Study Guide

A Man for All Seasons Matthew (Colin Blakeley)

Matthew (Colin Blakeley)

Matthew (Colin Blakeley) is Thomas More's trusty servant… well, he's trusty until More has to cut his wages, since More's income has been severely reduced by all those pesky treason charges. Then, Matthew jumps ship—although More will help him find employment elsewhere.

Matthew's actions are understandable. He's loyal up to a point—but he can't deal with the pay cut when he knows that there's better paying work to be found elsewhere. In a way, he's a good character and a friend to More who nonetheless takes the path of convenience, kind of like the Duke of Norfolk. When Matthew tells More that he can't keep working for him, Matthew's wife silently rebukes him. Irritated, Matthew gives a speech justifying his actions:

MATTHEW: Damn me! Isn't that them all over? Miss me? What's in me for him to miss? "Matthew, will you take a cut in your wages?" "No, Sir Thomas, I will not. And that's it. And that's all of it!" All right, so he's down on his luck, I'm sorry. I don't mind saying that I'm sorry. Bad luck. If I had any spare good luck, he could have some! I wish we could have good luck all the time. I wish rainwater was beer! I wish we had wings! But we don't.

Unlike More, Matthew is a pragmatist—not an idealist. He thinks More is just dealing with "bad luck"—he fails to see that More is actually wrestling with a great test to determine his loyalty to God and whether he can remain true to himself (though you could call that "bad luck" if you wanted to).