Picturing the existent historical events of the sixteenth Century. Robert Bolt’s two-act drama A Man for All Seasons was ab initio brought onto phase in the sixtiess. and is still widely performed and studied today. The dramatist. Bolt’s first-class use of theatrical elements contributes a large portion to the play’s permanent popularity ; and it besides enables the audience to efficaciously associate the drama to the modern-day universe. Bolt’s usage of the Common Man is an of import device associating the audience and the drama ; the modernized linguistic communication he chooses to rule the conversations on the phase encourages the audience to actively see how events are portrayed. Bolt’s suggestion of illuming and sound effects enhances the critical thoughts in the drama ; his agreement for the costumes and props besides assists the modern audience’s apprehension of the drama.
As a Brechtian disaffection device. the Common Man is used to act upon the apprehension of a modern-day audience by straight turn toing them. He reads. explains events. foreshadows things to come and exceed clip and topographic point as a character in the drama every bit good as a observer out of the drama. His of import function as historical expounding to the audience is apparent as halfway through Act 1. when he acknowledges Wolsey’s destiny and introduces Sir Thomas More as the new Chancellor to the audience ; every bit good as when he accounts for the “two years” that has passed. and introduces the “Act of Supremacy” as Act 2 commences.
The Common Man foreshadows More’s future quandary at the start of the drama. when he. as More’s steward. reveals to the audience that More “would give anything to anyone” and “that’s bad” . because one twenty-four hours when asked for “something he wants to keep” . More will be “out of practice” . By enlisting the Common Man’s sentiments of More. which is directed communicated with the audience. Bolt prompts the audience to reflect on whether More was right to lodge to his rules. and moreover. whether they accept his point of position that More is a “hero” .
Another map of the Common Man is to act upon the audience to recognize their ain features in him. as he represents the sentiment of the common folks. In all his functions throughout the drama. viz. More’s unpatriotic steward. a misanthropic boater. a timid tavern keeper. an unsympathetic prison guard and two other functions inflicted on him—the jury chief and the headsman. the Common Man represents the unreflecting impulse to merely last over the theoretical belief in rules. by whatever agencies good or bad. It is the deficiency of moral mention points. as exemplified by the Common Man and multiplied by different functions throughout the society. that explains to the audience the ground for such unfairness as the day of reckoning of More. The selfish and matter-of-fact nature in the Common adult male act as a contrast to the highly-principled. “saintly” More. and invites the audience to analyze the defects in themselves that are similar to the Common Man. and deepens their grasp and apprehension of More’s unity and bravery.
Bolt besides carefully constructs the linguistic communication in the drama to convey significances and connect to a modern audience. There is suggestion of antiquity in the address of the characters in the drama. but merely a intimation of it. The Common Man’s conversational linguistic communication is clearly non the street talk of the sixteenth century but the common linguistic communication of the 20th boulder clay today. This tendency is apparent directly from the start of Act 1: “Oh. if they’d allow me come on bare. I could hold shown you something of my own…”Seldom does the Common Man speak officially. yet he does. sometimes. offer grave historical expounding to the audience. However. the Common Man still manages to associate to the audience when reading from a “history book” . as shown at the start of Act 2.
He tells the audience that “…we are covering with an age less fastidious than our own” . which indicates that the Common Man locates himself in the same clip period as the modern audience. and invites them to reexamine the clip period of the drama together with him. Similarly. halfway through Act 2. the Common Man reads to the audience from an envelope that “descends fleetly before him” which embodies a message from the above or the hereafter. admiting the destiny of Cromwell. Norfolk. the King. Cranmer and Rich. This besides suggests that the characters in the drama. except for the Common Man. are all victims of dramatic sarcasm. Therefore. the modern audience are invited to develop a historical position of the drama and encouraged to do single ratings based on the past events.
On the other manus. for Sir Thomas More. an admirable bookman life in the sixteenth Century. portion of Bolt’s dramatic pick was to utilize some of More’s ain linguistic communications in the drama. which has been somewhat modernised every bit good. More’s linguistic communication is largely rational. metaphor-rich and demonstrates himself as a adult male of ground. For case. when he “quietly” reassures his household who are disquieted that he does non the defeated and “dangerous” Rich. “I’d give the Devil benefit of jurisprudence. for my ain safety’s sake” . and makes a statement about his shelter—“the brushs of the law” . Equally. More’s address at his concluding trail heightens the state of affairs. doing his steadfast rules and assurance in the jurisprudence momentous-“the jurisprudence is a causeway upon which so long as he keeps to it a citizen may walk safely. ” Yet. Bolt still manages to demo the audience More’s emotions as homo.
This is shown earlier in Act 2. when More’s household. including Margaret. neglect to understand his rules as he resigns the office of Lord Chancellor—More suspirations: “…oh. you’re cruel. I have a barbarous household. ”In add-on. when More meets his household for the last clip in gaol. his emotional effusion entreaties to the audience as his married woman Alice’s response-“I understand you’re the best adult male that I of all time met or am likely to”-restores his calm to hold a good decease. More exclaims Alice’s courage and hot heart—“why. it’s a king of beasts I married! ” Bolt’s pick of linguistic communication for his characters in the drama is non confined to complicated sixteenth century words. instead. a considerable sum of fluid modern address are shown. which is friendly to the modern-day audience.
Bolt’s suggestion of lighting is important. at minutes. to heighten critical thoughts. As the general lighting alterations from warm. bright visible radiations to dark and cold shadows. the general ambiance is altered on the phase. This helps the audience to specify the temper. clip and location of a scene. consolidating their apprehension of the scenes. For illustration. in Act 2. when More is called to speak to Cromwell. there is a “darkness” assemblage on the others. go forthing More “isolated in the light” . out of which he answers them in shadows. The others in the scene—Cromwell. Norfolk. Cranmer and Rich do non understand his rules but he knows wholly what his base is ; they are in dark but he is non. Besides. when the King visits More’s place at Chelsea. “a beginning of glistening bluish light” at the rear of the phase portrays the exhilaration of the causeless juncture. Equally. “a cold Grey visible radiation from off the Grey water” is used to portray the gloomy atmosphere in the Tower. every bit good as More’s mental and physical quandary. The importance of the Common Man is besides good stressed by the “single spot” of light falling vertically upon him among the “darkness” of the whole phase.
Bolt’s application of sound effects is important in specifying or rising the consequence of a peculiar minute. The sounds straight attributed to the King have most obvious effects—“trumpets” for his entry. the “plain song” that heralds his reaching and his ain music played in Chelsea during his visit all depicts his ultimate power and authorization. Another illustration is towards the terminal of the Tower scene. when More’ s household fail to remain longer with him and they all know that it is clip to state farewell ; the tenseness additions and becomes about intolerable –“the first shot of seven is heard on a heavy. deliberate bell. which continues. cut downing what follows to a babble” . Following this. as the drama reaches its climax—More’s test. “portentous and heraldic” music is heard. which provides an disconnected passage and maintains the high tenseness on phase. The sound effects work good in intensifying the texture of the drama ; it besides enhances the apprehension and focal point of the audience.
Overall. in the drama A Man for All Seasons. the dramatist Robert Bolt makes good attempts in planing the theatrical elements and using those. including the function of the Common Man. the linguistic communication of the characters. dramatic sarcasm. the lighting and sound effects. and many more devices. These work hand in glove to exemplify the content of the drama to a modern audience. heightening their apprehension and reading. Watching this drama becomes a challenging procedure. where the audience are led by the theatrical devices to develop single apprehension of the drama. and see its relevancy to the modern-day life. Once this connexion with the audience is built. A Man for All Seasons remains a popular historical drama encompassing its modern manner. which depicts the events in the sixteenth century and keeps active on phase since the 1960s boulder clay now.