Study Guide

A Man for All Seasons Will Roper (Corin Redgrave)

Will Roper (Corin Redgrave)

Will Roper (Corin Redgrave) wants to marry More's daughter, Margaret. But there's one problem: He's a Protestant and a fan of Martin Luther. And Thomas More hated Luther. When More objects to Roper's Protestantism as a heresy, Roper responds:

ROPER: The Church is heretical! Dr. Luther's proved that to my satisfaction!

But Roper, despite his apparent revolutionary qualities, is actually a pushover. It turns out that his love for Margaret runs a lot deeper than his devotion to Luther's teachings. Upon reconsideration, he tells More that he's gone back to the Catholic side—though he manages to go overboard in the process, making treasonous statements about the king:

ROPER: Yes. Well, since then my views have somewhat modified.

MORE: Well, that's good hearing, Will.

ROPER: Mind you, I modify nothing concerning the various corruptions in the Church.

MORE: Quite right.

ROPER: But an attack upon the Church herself... no. I see behind that an attack on God.

MORE: Roper!

ROPER: The Devil's work... to be done by the Devil's ministers!

He's an interesting contrast to More—his principles are malleable, unlike More's, but he also likes to express his extreme views, while More defies the king simply by keeping silent and refusing to sign an oath. Roper doesn't seem like a bad guy—he's just not the same kind of hardcore religious and unfailingly principled person that More is.

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