Christian virtues are lacking in the Common Mans role of the steward. The Common Mans character, the steward, disrespects Rich by the snubbing manner of which he speaks to Rich. Likewise, when he spies on Thomas More he is being disloyal and dishonest. (pp. 40-42) Furthermore, the steward exhibits greediness by spying on More for Richard Rich, Thomas Cromwell, and Signor Chapuy in exchange for money. (pp.40-42) In addition, pride is conveyed towards Rich by the steward when he behaves as if he superior over Rich. (pp.104-105) Vices are seen in the stewards behavior.
The Common Man in the role of the boatman demonstrates a lack of morality. The boatman displays dishonesty when he tries to overcharge Thomas for his boat ride home. (p. 25) Likewise, he is being greedy as he wants more money than he should receive for giving Thomas a ride home. (p. 25) Moreover, his disobeyed the law by ignoring the fixed boat fares. (p. 25) The boatmans actions are sinful.
Lack of morals can be observed in the Common Man in the role of the Jailer. The vice of greed is seen by the Jailor when he is willing to accept fifty guineas from Cromwell in exchange for information about Thomas More. (p. 135) Likewise, the jailor is dishonest when he is willing to take anything that Thomas says and tell it to Cromwell to use as evidence against Thomas More in court. (pp. 135-136) Lack of charity is exhibited by the jailor when he does not allow Thomass family to visit Thomas at the jail. (pp. 145-146) The Common Man, as the jailor, displays vices.
The role of the steward, boatman, and jailor played by the Common Man reveal the lack of mans morals in A Man for All Seasons. Disrespect, dishonesty, greed, pride, lack of charity, and disobedience are witnessed in the words and actions of the three characters. The vices represent the basic character of the Common Man who is every person in every age, class, race, and society. Bolts play, A Man for All Seasons instructs one to avoid sin and protect his morals and Christian faith.
[ 1 ]. Robert Bolt, The Man for All Seasons(New York, NY; Vintage International, 1990),pp. 4-5. All subsequent references will be noted in the text.