Study Guide

A Man for All Seasons Principles

Principles

If you did a Google search for A Man for All Seasons + principles, you'd get a zillion hits. That's because Thomas More loves principles. They're his bread and butter, his currency, his jam.

In fact, he identifies his most deeply held principles with his own self—he can't betray them because they're essential to him, and he would lose his soul if he did. This makes A Man for All Seasons one of the greatest studies of the way a classic "Man of Principle" takes his stand and ultimately dies for it.

Questions About Principles

  1. What are Thomas More's principles? Define them and say what they mean to him.
  2. Does Henry VIII have his own set of principles or not? If so, explain what they are and how they conflict with More's.
  3. And what about Norfolk? Cromwell? Rich? If they have principles, what are they?

Chew on This

To be a good person, you need to take a stand. Like Thomas More, you need to draw a line somewhere and say, "This is something I won't do."

Life is all about the gray areas. There's always a situation in which it's okay to bend a rule or throw out something you used to think was absolute.