The trial scene in A Man for All Seasons is a brilliant climax to the film. Thomas More has assiduously refrained from making any comment on the invalidity of Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon and marriage to Anne Boleyn. Sir Richard Rich, an arriviste to whom More declined earlier to offer employment, is sent by Thomas Cromwell to talk to him in the Tower, and shamelessly perjures himself by telling Parliament that More did, during that conversation, effectively deny the validity of the divorce.
Knowing that he is doomed, More finally does make a public declaration of his beliefs. As Rich moves to leave, More asks him about a chain of office around his neck, and is told that he is Solicitor General for Wales.
More says: “For Wales? Why Richard, it profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world . . . but for Wales?!”
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs