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.
Before 1534, the Church of England was the English Church, a branch of the Roman Catholic Church. After 1534 and the Act of Supremacy, the Church of England split from the Catholic Church, and appointed the King of England as the Supreme Leader of the Church, as opposed to the Pope.

Church of England Quotes in A Man for All Seasons

The A Man for All Seasons quotes below are all either spoken by Church of England or refer to Church of England. For each quote, you can also see the other terms 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

Roper: You are denying the Act of Supremacy!
More: No, I’m not; the Act states that the King—
Roper: —is Supreme Head of the Church in England.
More: Supreme Head of the Church in England—“So far as the law of God allows.” How far the law of God does allow it remains a matter of opinion, since the Act doesn’t state it.
Roper: A legal quibble.
More: Call it what you like, it’s there, thank God.

Related Characters: Sir Thomas More (speaker), William Roper (speaker), King Henry VIII
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:

The Apostolic Success of the Pope is—….Why it’s a theory, yes; you can’t see it; can’t touch it; it’s a theory. But what matters to me is not whether it’s true or not but that I believe it to be true, or rather, not that I believe it, but that I believe it…I trust I make myself obscure?

Related Characters: Sir Thomas More (speaker), Duke of Norfolk
Page Number: 91
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2 Quotes

Norfolk: Have you anything to say?
More: Yes. To avoid this I have taken every path my winding wits would find. Now that the court has determined to condemn me, God knoweth how, I will discharge my mind…concerning my indictment and the King’s title. The indictment is grounded in an Act of Parliament which is directly repugnant to the Law of God. The King in Parliament cannot bestow the Supremacy of the Church because it is a Spiritual Supremacy! And more to this the immunity of the Church is promised both in Magna Carta and the King’s own Coronation Oath!
Cromwell: Now we plainly see that you are malicious!
More: Not so, Master Secretary! I am the King’s true subject, and pray for him and all the realm…I do none harm, I say none harm, I think none harm. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, in good faith I long not to live…I have, since I came into prison, been several times in such a case that I thought to die within the hour, and I thank Our Lord I was never sorry for it, but rather sorry when it passed. And therefore, my poor body is at the King’s pleasure. Would God my death might do him some good…Nevertheless, it is not for the Supremacy that you have sought my blood—but because I would not bend to the marriage!

Related Characters: Sir Thomas More (speaker), Duke of Norfolk (speaker), Thomas Cromwell (speaker), King Henry VIII
Page Number: 159
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire A Man for All Seasons LitChart as a printable PDF.
A Man for All Seasons PDF

Church of England Term Timeline in A Man for All Seasons

The timeline below shows where the term Church of England appears in A Man for All Seasons. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2
Man’s Law vs. God’s Law Theme Icon
...explains that two years have passed since the play’s first act. In the meantime, the Church of England has been created. Although great changes usually come with bloodshed, the Common Man explains that... (full context)
The Meaning of Silence Theme Icon
Conscience, Integrity, and Reputation Theme Icon
...removing his Chancellor chain. Only Margaret will help him. More sees the creation of the Church of England as a declaration of war against the (true) Catholic Church, and he believes that the... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
The Meaning of Silence Theme Icon
...offer. Cromwell accuses More of denying the King his title of Supreme Head of the Church of England . More is upset because he has never denied this. He argues “silence is not... (full context)
Financial vs. Moral Richness Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...he asked More why he wouldn’t accept the King’s title as Supreme Head of the Church of England . He says More verbally rejected Henry’s title. More immediately protests. He rationalizes that after... (full context)