Sir Thomas More

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2005 by Cody McComas

The play, “A Man For All Seasons” is a factual account of how Sir Thomas More does not approve of King Henry IIV’s divorce and remarriage, and stands up for what is right in regards to fidelity in the face of much persecution, even death.

I was absolutely amazed at More’s ability to stand strong for what he believed no matter what. He knew that it was wrong for the king to divorce and remarry; he knew that the Catholic Church did not approve of it, and he supported the Church because he knew it to be right, and he supported it no matter what.

At one point the king sends More’s own family in to where he is being held prisoner and they plead with him to please just give in and approve of the divorce and marriage so that he may live, but he cannot. Sir Thomas More had covenanted with God to obey His commandments, he had made an oath and he had to keep that covenant. He had to keep the oath and not approve of any breaking of the commandments. I quote from the introduction to the play,

“More was a very Orthodox Catholic and for him an oath was something perfectly specific; it was an invitation to God, an invitation God would not refuse, to act as a witness, to judge; the consequence of perjury was damnation, for More another perfectly specific concept. So for More the issue was simple (though remembering the outcome it can hardly have been easy)…A man takes an oath only when he wants to commit himself quite exceptionally to the statement, when he wants to make an identity [relationship] between the truth if it and his own virtue; he offers himself as a guarantee. And it works (“A Man For All Seasons”, xii, emphasis added).”

This is an amazing concept, the concept of offering oneself as the guarantee for an oath that we make. We offer ourselves, who we are, the person that we are, the life we live, the decisions we make, as a guarantee that says, “by the way I live my life I will show to you that I mean what I said and I will be good to that oath that I made.”


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