A Man for All Seasons

Definition

Theater

  • Robert Bolt's play about the events that led to theexecution of Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, in 1535.It was first produced in 1960 at London's Globe Theatre, with PaulScofield in the lead. Bolt's script emphasized the conflict betweenMore's duty to the king and the promptings of his conscience, whichwould not allow him to recognize the annulment of Henry's marriageor the Act of Supremacy. "He is more or less my ideal humanbeing," Bolt said. The play used the Brechtian device of havinga choric narrator, 'The Common Man'. In 1961 Scofield made his Broadwaydebut in the role, winning a Tony as Best actor. In Fred Zinnermann's1966 film version Scofield was joined by Wendy Hiller and Orson Welles.

    More had been described as "a man for all seasons"by his contemporary Robert Whittington. The phrase is now often usedto describe an adaptable and accomplished 'Renaissance man' who canbe regarded as dependable in all situations.

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