Study Guide

A Man for All Seasons Scene 7

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Scene 7

Scene 7

  • At parliament, Cromwell forces a bill through that will require everyone to sign a loyalty oath swearing that the king's marriage and rejection of the Church's dominion were legitimate.
  • At More's house, Margaret is concerned about the oath. More is hopeful; he tells her that if there is a legitimate way that they can swear to the oath without betraying their principles, they'll need to take it. Man, in his view, was made to serve God with his cleverness.
  • We flip to More being imprisoned in the Tower of London—he couldn't swear to the oath.
  • Months pass, and More remains imprisoned in the Tower. Cromwell summons him to answer the charges against him.
  • Facing Cromwell and Norfolk, More says he's willing to admit that the king's children with his new wife will be legitimate heirs to the throne.
  • But when they press him to swear that the king had a right to override the Pope, he remains silent. He says that they can't just assume his reasons for remaining silent are treasonous, either—they need proof. But if their guess is right, then they can cut his head off.
  • Norfolk appeals to Thomas' sense of fellowship in signing the oath, but More says that he wouldn't ask Norfolk to go to hell with him for fellowship's sake.
  • More won't incriminate himself, to their frustration. But before he leaves, Cromwell orders his books confiscated from his cell and denies him a family visit.
  • Rich arrives and advises torturing More—but Cromwell says the king thinks that's too harsh.

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