Thomas More, an Adamantine Sense of Self

An Adamantine sense of self
Sir Thomas More, the protagonist of A Man for All Seasons, is an intellectual man who adores life, the love for his family, and respects his king. He has a deeply embedded sense of integrity, truth and honour that causes him to choose death over compromising his soul. Cardinal Wolsey, concerned for matters of the state, found More's principles as a "horrible moral squint" that prevent More from collaborating with the governing powers of England. Sir Thomas More's conclusion to decline the king did not come easily. More had supported his king in both state and religious policy until the Act of Supremacy and the oath Henry VIII required his fellow citizen to take. Bolt also reveals the pain More's decision causes his family. More and his cherished family is forced into poverty after resigning the position of Lord Chancellor of England and continuing to defy his king puts them into disgrace but none of this deters More in upholding his virtue and principles.
More stands for the perils of being perceived as a saint or a moral man. Throughout the play characters, such as Chapuys, Roper, Cromwell and even the king, saw More as a archetypal of a concept “Saint” rather than as a person. His approval is important to the king and to Norfolk because it would make them feel as if his approval improved their own morals.
More is a man of deep religious convictions who counters Wolsey's concerns for the state by insisting that he had rather govern the country by prayers. Ironically, he trusts the law to protect him on earth, which would forsake him to death, and he considers it his God-given duty to become expert enough in legal intricacies to defend himself from the King. More says that God made Man capable of serving him "wittily, in the tangle of his mind!" Ultimately, More believed a man's duty was to sort out the conflicts between religion and state according to his own conscience, saying "In matters of conscience, the loyal subject is more...