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A Man for All Seasons

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A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS
A Man for All Seasons has probably enjoyed more popularity than any other English play since the war. After a run of 320 performances in the West End, it was a great success on Broadway, where it was voted the Best Foreign Play of the Year (1962). Bolt himself wrote the screenplay, cutting out the part of the Common Man, although the director was in favour of keeping him. The film was made in 1966, with Paul Scofield playing Sir Thomas More, as he had on the stage both in London and New York. It won six academy awards and had long seasons in cinemas in many parts of the world.
In style, A Man for All Seasons is quite different from any of Bolt’s previous plays, but it represents a continuation of the same line of thinking about behaviour. Cherry was a man who had so completely lost touch with his ideal that he was incapable of seizing a real chance of joining fantasy and reality together by selling the house and buying an orchard. Dean was basically a good man and though he’d turned a blind eye on some of the things going on around him and made certain moral compromises for the sake of climbing the academic ladder, he’d never got completely cut off from the ideal (which is represented partly by astronomy). And the action forces him to a point where he digs his heels in and. shuts his ears to the counsels of opportunism (which are represented partly by Sir Hugo). A Man for All Seasons is a graph on which Bolt plots two curves: the steady rise of an opportunist and the decline of a man of principle.
At the beginning of the play, Richard Rich, who has studied Machiavelli, is looking for a job. A graduate of Cambridge, he has been in London for seven months, which he has spent largely waiting about in ante-rooms. But he’s contemptuous of More’s offer to get him a post as a teacher. He’s ambitious, and he’s spineless, as we see from his chameleon

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