A Man for All Seasons

by

Robert Bolt

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on A Man for All Seasons can help.
The wife of Thomas More and mother of Margaret More. Of the members of Thomas More’s family, she is the least understanding of his resistance to the King. She would rather her husband compromise his morals and remain alive, than die defending what he believes. She also loves being a member of high society, and so More’s retirement and their family’s ensuing poverty is especially difficult for her to deal with.

Alice More Quotes in A Man for All Seasons

The A Man for All Seasons quotes below are all either spoken by Alice More or refer to Alice More. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of A Man for All Seasons published in 1990.
Act 1 Quotes

More: …I’m not a God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can’t navigate. I’m no voyager. But in the thickets of the law, oh, there I’m a forester. I doubt if there’s a man alive who could follow me there, thank God…
Alice; While you talk, he’s gone!
More: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law!
Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!
More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you—where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast—man’s laws, not God’s—and if you cut them down—and you’re just the man to do it—d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d like to give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.

Related Characters: Sir Thomas More (speaker), Alice More (speaker), William Roper (speaker), Richard Rich, Thomas Cromwell
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

More: Son Roper, you’re pleased with me I hope?
Roper: Sir, You’ve made a noble gesture.
More: A gesture? It wasn’t possible to continue, Will. I was not able to continue. I would have if I could! I make no gesture! My God, I hope it’s understood I make no gesture! Alice, you don’t think I would do this to you for a gesture! That’s a gesture (Thumbs his nose) That’s a gesture! (Jerks up two fingers) I’m no street acrobat to make gestures! I’m practical!
Roper: You belittle yourself, sir, this was not practical; this was moral!
More: Oh, now I understand you, Will. Morality’s not practical. Morality’s a gesture. A complicated gesture learned from books—that’s what you say, Alice isn’t it?...And you, Meg?
Margaret: It is, for most of us, Father.

Related Characters: Sir Thomas More (speaker), William Roper (speaker), Alice More
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:

Alice, it’s a point of law! Accept it from me, Alice, that in silence is my safety under the law, but my silence must be absolute, it must extend to you.

Related Characters: Sir Thomas More (speaker), Alice More, King Henry VIII
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:

Alice: “Luxury”!.
More: Well, it’s a luxury while it lasts…There’s not much sport in it for you, is there? Alice, the money from the bishops. I can’t take it. I wish—oh, heaven, how I wish I could! But I can’t.
Alice: I didn’t think you would.
More: Alice, there are reasons.
Alice: We couldn’t come so deep into your confidence as to know these reasons why a man in poverty can’t take four thousand pounds?
More: Alice, this isn’t poverty.
Alice: D’you know what we shall eat tonight?
More: Yes, parsnips.
Alice: Yes, parsnips and stinking mutton! For a knight’s lady!
More: But at the worst, we could be beggars, and still keep company, and be merry together!

Related Characters: Sir Thomas More (speaker), Alice More (speaker)
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire A Man for All Seasons LitChart as a printable PDF.
A Man for All Seasons PDF

Alice More Character Timeline in A Man for All Seasons

The timeline below shows where the character Alice More appears in A Man for All Seasons. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Duke of Norfolk, More’s wife Alice, and More’s daughter Margaret enter arguing about Norfolk’s recent hunting trip. Norfolk claims his hunting... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...to the group that Cromwell has been promoted to the Cardinal’s Secretary. Everyone is shocked. Alice asks, “a farrier’s son?” but Norfolk reminds her that the Cardinal himself is the son... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Alice wakes up and joins More and Margaret. The two women want to know why Wolsey... (full context)
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Man’s Law vs. God’s Law Theme Icon
The scene transitions to More’s house. Alice, Margaret, and Norfolk are looking for More. The King is arriving soon on an unofficial... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Man’s Law vs. God’s Law Theme Icon
King Henry arrives by boat, which he himself navigated. More, Margaret, and Alice all pretend that his visit has surprised them. The King flirts with Margaret, and praises... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
Alice is upset that More has not been more cooperative. She asks him to “Be ruled!”... (full context)
Act 2
The Meaning of Silence Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Alice is upset. She is worried the King will punish More. Roper appreciates More’s gesture, though... (full context)
The Meaning of Silence Theme Icon
Man’s Law vs. God’s Law Theme Icon
More believes he will be safe if he and his family remain silent. He cautions Alice to remain silent even under oath. (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
...plants for the fire as Chapuys leaves. More describes the fire as a “luxury,” although Alice is upset with their new, lower standard of living. More argues that things aren’t all... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
The Meaning of Silence Theme Icon
Clergy from the Catholic Church have collected money to thank More for opposing the King. Alice wants More to accept their charity, but he is worried that it will appear as... (full context)
The Meaning of Silence Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Alice, Roper, and Margaret are all happy to see More, but they reveal that they are... (full context)
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
...extend it. In his final moments with his family, More tries to compliment the food Alice has brought for him, but she is upset because he will not give in and... (full context)