Robert Bolt's timeless drama, A Man for all Seasons, depicts the conflict between a noblemen – Sir Thomas More, and the King – Henry VIII. The issue arises when Sir Thomas More does not grant a divorce from Catherine of Aragon for King Henry. Throughout the play More's morals and ideals are put to the test by various powers of England and it is through sound structure, multiple plot developments and vital dialogue that he is presented to the audience.
In many plays the title reflects either the main character or the plight of the important. In this play the title directs the audience's attention towards two significant characters, Sir Thomas More and The Common Man. When looking at the structure of the play it is clear to see that The Common Man is important. He opens the play and he closes it. His very first lines are, "It is perverse! To start a play made up of Kings/and Cardinals in speaking costumes and/intellectuals with embroidered mouths, with me." The Common man thinks it very odd for a play filled with characters of such nobility, to start with such a lowly, base humoured and minded individual. As the play progresses we see him in a number of scenes with various different positions. In the opening scenes he is Thomas more's steward and then the boatman, who are figures of low class who come to say some very profound statements, (boatman speaking to more in response of More's question of the silting up of the river channel) "Not in the middle, sir. There's a channel/there getting deeper all the time." Here The Common Man is commenting on the fact that if you don't go onto either side of political affairs, then you are the safest. As the play progresses the audience can see the characters played by The Common man begin to lose their footing. More's Steward Matthew for example, tries to suppress his guilty conscience for having sold out More after More has shown much affection towards him.