Conscience Essay

597 words - 2 pages


Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary defines conscience as "the
sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one's own
conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do
right or good." In A Man for All Seasons, each character's conscience plays the
ultimate role in the outcome of the story. "Individual conscience" is trait
that each character possesses. This trait differs in intensity throughout the
play in each of the main characters. Sir Thomas More and King Henry VIII show
their unchangeable conscience, by their actions. More refuses to accept the
King's divorce of Catherine, and marriage to Anne. The King appoints More to
Lord Chancellor, hoping to persuade Sir Thomas to accept his marriage. King
Henry wants everyone to accept his divorce. He believes he is right for going
against Pope's ruling, and he wants all his royal subjects, and men of
popularity to accept his decision. This is the King's "individual conscience"
talking . He fears that without the acceptance from Thomas, Lord Chancellor,
that he has made God angry, and he will pay for his unsupported decision.
     Sir Thomas More was the only character that believed and stuck with his
conscience, by doing so, it cost him his life. Sir Thomas was a very prominent
member of the King's council, he was the only member whom did not take bribes to
sway his decision. Sir Thomas had always trusted in his conscience. He
believed that the right way, and God's way lies in the conscience. Sir Thomas
was separated between church and state, and he stuck with his decision. The
King liked More, he liked him so much, that he promoted Sir Thomas to Lord
Chancellor. This decision was also to help sway More into accepting his
marriage to Anne. However, when the King comes to More asking for his blessing,
More refuses, and resigns as...

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