A Man for All Seasons

He begins the play as a poor academic and Thomas More’s friend, but quickly rises through the ranks of British society. First Rich acts as an assistant to Norfolk, and then he befriends Cromwell, who helps him attain higher and higher positions. Over and over Rich is presented with the opportunity to follow his conscience and protect his friendships, or sacrifice his morals for wealth. Nearly every time, Rich chooses to advance himself.

Richard Rich Quotes in A Man for All Seasons

The A Man for All Seasons quotes below are all either spoken by Richard Rich or refer to Richard Rich. 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

Rich: But every man has his price!
More: No-no-no—

Rich: But yes! In money too.
More: No no no.
Rich: Or pleasure. Titles, women, bricks-and-mortar, there’s always something.
More: Childish.
Rich: Well, in suffering, certainly.
More: Buy a man with suffering?
Rich: Impose suffering, and offer him—escape.
More: Oh. For a moment I thought you were being profound.

Related Characters: Sir Thomas More (speaker), Richard Rich (speaker)
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:
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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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Cromwell: The King’s a man of conscience and he wants either Sir Thomas More to bless his marriage or Sir Thomas More destroyed.
Rich: They seem odd alternatives, Secretary.
Cromwell: Do they? That’s because you’re not a man of conscience. If the King destroys a man, that’s proof to the King that it must have been a bad man, the kind of man a man of conscience ought to destroy—and of course a bad man’s blessing’s not worth having. So either will do.

Related Characters: Richard Rich (speaker), Thomas Cromwell (speaker), Sir Thomas More, King Henry VIII
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:
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Richard Rich Character Timeline in A Man for All Seasons

The timeline below shows where the character Richard Rich appears in A Man for All Seasons. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
...set table suggests that we are now in Thomas More’s house in London. More and Richard Rich enter, clearly in the middle of an argument. Rich asserts that “Every man has... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
More notices that Rich’s argument sounds like the one Machiavelli, a contemporary diplomat and writer, makes in his book... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Rich complains that although he’s been in London for seven months, and made many acquaintances, he... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
More reminds Rich that he could have a teaching position if he wanted, but Rich isn’t interested. More... (full context)
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...clouds, while Alice thinks this seems impossible. After a minute, their conversation turns to philosophy. Rich again praises Machiavelli’s The Prince, and defends it, along with Thomas Cromwell, whose aggressive political... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...son?” but Norfolk reminds her that the Cardinal himself is the son of a butcher. Rich admits he likes Cromwell, and More suggests that Rich can use his connection to Cromwell... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...Cardinal’s office, although it is now eleven at night. As More leaves he sees that Rich is unhappy. More suggests that Norfolk employ Rich in some clerical position. Rich thanks More,... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
As Rich leaves, the Steward comments on the new goblet More has given Rich. After Rich has... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The sets change and the stage becomes Hampton Court, the royal palace. Richard Rich passes Thomas Cromwell in a stairwell, and the two begin to talk. Cromwell wants... (full context)
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Man’s Law vs. God’s Law Theme Icon
Rich doesn’t answer Cromwell’s question because Chapuys and his Attendant interrupt their conversation. Chapuys wonders what... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...of fully exiting he hides onstage with his Attendant, within earshot but out of sight. Rich remains onstage, unsure of where to go. Cromwell presses the Steward for information about More.... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Man’s Law vs. God’s Law Theme Icon
Rich reenters after Chapuys and his Attendant have left the stage. He gives the Steward a... (full context)
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The Steward enters, and announces that Richard Rich, has come to visit uninvited. Rich is in a strange mood, and complains that... (full context)
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Man’s Law vs. God’s Law Theme Icon
More’s family wants to arrest Rich. Margaret thinks he should be arrested for being bad, as that is God’s law, but... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...because he is so common. Cromwell enters the pub and asks for a private room. Rich joins him, and they meet in a backroom. Cromwell shares court gossip with Rich, who... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Man’s Law vs. God’s Law Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Cromwell offers Rich a position as Collector of Revenues for York Diocese, if Rich will help the King... (full context)
Act 2
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...that More is too upstanding to have ever accepted a bribe, but Cromwell brings in Richard Rich and a Woman—both of whom, he says, can prove More’s guilt. Rich acknowledges Norfolk... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Man’s Law vs. God’s Law Theme Icon
Once Norfolk has left, Cromwell and Rich begin to scheme. Rich explains he is “only anxious to do what is correct,” and... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The scene changes to Cromwell’s office. More has come to hear Cromwell’s accusations, and Richard Rich has joined them. More refers to Rich as an “old friend” and comments on... (full context)
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
Man’s Law vs. God’s Law Theme Icon
Alone in Cromwell’s office, Cromwell and Rich scheme together. More had said he was not scared because he had nothing to hide,... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
...will not be executed because the King will die before he can sign the order. Rich, in contrast, will continue to rise in rank and will die of natural causes. No... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
On their way out, Rich and Cromwell talk. Rich wants a new, better, job, specifically that of the retiring Attorney-General... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Richard Rich is called as a witness. He is now the Attorney General for Wales, and... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
The Meaning of Silence Theme Icon
Man’s Law vs. God’s Law Theme Icon
...of persecuting him not for his actions, but for his thoughts, and he calls out Rich for selling his soul for Wales. (full context)