How well do you know "A Man for All Seasons?"


By: Susan McDonald

6 Min Quiz

Image: Highland Films

About This Quiz

Palace intrigue! Treachery! Betrayal! Adultery! The reign of King Henry VIII had it all. The 1966 Oscar-winning film, "A Man for All Seasons," tells the story from the perspective of Sir Thomas More, who had a front row seat. How well do you know this classic movie?

How do the film's characters travel between Hampton Court and Sir Thomas More's home at Chelsea?

Both Hampton Court Palace and More's home are located on the River Thames. The most expedient way to get from one place to the other is by boat.


What method do the characters use to seal letters?

At this time in history, correspondence was sealed with a large drop of wax, which was then stamped with an emblem that was typically unique to the sender, such as a coat of arms.


Why is King Henry VIII so anxious to get a divorce and remarry?

Henry felt it was very important to have a son to succeed him as king. Since his wife had not been able to provide a male heir, he wanted to marry a younger woman.


Why is Cardinal Wolsey supportive of Henry's desire for a divorce?

While divorce is not allowed by the Catholic Church, Wolsey has agreed to press for an exception to keep peace in England. He is afraid that failure to produce a suitable male heir would lead to a dynastic war.


What is Thomas More's suggestion for deciding the issue of the king's divorce?

While Wolsey is in favor of pressuring the Vatican to grant Henry a divorce, More is vehemently opposed to the idea. Instead, he suggests that prayer is the best way to find a resolution.


Who eavesdrops on More's conversation with Wolsey?

As More and Wolsey are discussing the issue of Henry's divorce, Cromwell listens from just outside the door. This gives him information he can later use against More.


What was the name of the mistress Henry wanted to marry?

All four answers are real women who were married to Henry, but the correct answer is Anne Boleyn. Catherine of Aragon was his first wife and the other two came later.


Who accosts More as he leaves his meeting with Wolsey?

As he leaves his meeting, More is met by a throng of people who want his help with legal matters. They press notes into his hands, and in one case, a gift.


To whom does More give the chalice someone gave him?

When More realizes the chalice was intended as a bribe, he first throws it into the river. Rich pulls it out, saying it could be sold, so More gives it to him.


What job does More suggest would be best for Richard?

Richard wants a job in court, but More tries to convince him that he isn't suited for that life. Instead, he wants to set him up as a teacher, but Richard wants no part of that life.


What is the relationship between More, Alice, and Margaret?

More's wife is named Alice, and Margaret is their daughter. She clearly is the apple of her father's eye.


What is Margaret's nickname within the family?

More calls his daughter Meg. It is a term of great affection between them.


Why does More initially refuse to let Will Roper marry his daughter?

More is a very devout Catholic and has trouble accepting other views. While he notes that Will used to be Catholic, Will has now embraced the Protestant Reformation, so More considers him a heretic.


How is Margaret unusual for young women of her time?

Unlike most women of her time, Margaret has been given a solid education. She proves this when King Henry visits and she speaks​ with him in Latin and Greek.


What new title does King Henry confer on More?

After the death of Cardinal Wolsey, King Henry makes More Lord Chancellor of England. It is the highest position in the king's government and carries great responsibility and prestige.


Who pays a surprise visit to More's Chelsea home?

More and his family are surprised when a flotilla of boats arrives at their home, carrying King Henry and numerous members of his court. While the musicians and others go inside the house. Henry and More remain outside, where they argue about Henry's desire for a divorce.


To whom was Catherine of Aragon married before she married Henry?

Catherine was Henry's brother's widow when he married her. He uses this as a way to manipulate Biblical teachings, hoping the Vatican grants an annulment.


What reason does Henry give for wanting More's support so badly?

Henry tells More that not only is he an honest man, he is widely known for that trait. For that reason, having him support Henry's petition for a divorce or annulment would legitimize the move.


To whom does Rich go after More refuses to help him get a position in the king's court?

When More, once again, refuses to help Rich get his much-wanted position at the palace, Rich turns on him in the worst way. Knowing that Cromwell is out to get More, Rich goes to him and offers his assistance in return for a position.


What new title does Henry confer upon himself?

In his efforts to work around the Vatican and get out of his marriage, Henry names himself Supreme Head of the Church of England. This signaled his break from the Vatican and the Catholic Church, establishing the Church of England as the country's official religion.


Why does More resign his position with Henry's court?

When he cannot get the Vatican to grant his divorce, Henry breaks with the Catholic Church and insists that members of Parliament also renounce the church. As a devout Catholic, More cannot do as the king wishes, so he resigns his position.


Why does More dismiss his household staff?

After resigning his position, More gathers his staff and tells them that since he is "no longer a great man," he no longer needs a great house and cannot afford to keep them on. However, he promises to find them new jobs with friends of his.


What does More tell his wife he plans to do after resigning from the court?

His wife is not very happy with More for resigning his position, but he seems at peace with his decision. He announces that he plans to read, write and think, and he even offers to teach her to read, an offer she refuses.


Why does More refuse to speak with Alice about his opinions regarding the king's actions?

More is afraid that, as forces begin to close in on him, his wife will be questioned by the king's forces in order to get information about him. He decides that it is best for both of them if he tries to prevent that by not discussing his opinions with her.


Of what does Cromwell initially try to accuse More, in his attempt to bring him down?

From Rich, Cromwell learns about the silver chalice that a woman once tried to give to More in exchange for a good outcome in court. However, More is able to prove that he gave the chalice to Rich, who later sold it, so the bribery charge does not stick.


What single action does Cromwell say will make all of More's problems disappear?

As it becomes increasingly apparent that the king's forces are out to destroy More, Cromwell offers a simple solution. If More will attend Henry's wedding to Anne Boleyn, in essence blessing their marriage, all will be forgiven. As a man of conscience, he cannot comply.


At their wedding, what does Henry do to celebrate his marriage to Anne?

The wedding is a jubilant affair and both the bride and groom are ecstatic. Henry adds to the occasion by serenading Anne with a charming song.


After being summoned to the palace for more questioning, why does More have trouble getting home?

Leaving the palace after an argument with Norfolk, More arrives at the river bank and signals for a boat. Since he is now out of favor with the court, the boatsmen put out their torches in the water and with no transportation options, More is forced to walk all the way home.


Does More attend the wedding of Henry and Anne?

Even though it might put him back in favor with the king, More cannot support the marriage because he does not support Henry's divorce, so he doesn't go. Henry sees a man who resembles More from the back and is delighted that his old friend has come, but when the man turns around, it is someone else.


What happens to More after he refuses to take the oath recognizing Henry's new title as head of the church?

More learns that Henry has concocted a new oath that he is expected to sign, and he considers doing it depending on the specific wording. When he sees that it names Henry as the leader of the Church of England, More, as a devout Catholic, cannot sign it and is imprisoned in the Tower of London.


What happens when More asks for more books?

When More asks if he can have a few more books in his prison cell, his request backfires terribly. Instead of granting his request, Rich confiscates the few books More already has, leaving him with nothing.


Who perjures himself at More's trial?

More's trial is not going well anyway, but things go from bad to worse when Rich testifies against him. His old friend lies by recounting a conversation that did not take place, indicating that More had committed a treasonous act. As a reward, Rich is made Attorney General of Wales.


Who sits on the tribunal at More's trial?

Cromwell, the Duke of Norfolk, and Archbishop Cranmer run More's trial for treason. There is also a jury, but the three men make it clear what they expect the outcome to be.


When they are allowed to visit him, what does More ask his family to do?

Although they can only stay a few minutes, More's wife, daughter, and son-in-law are allowed to visit him in his prison cell. Afraid for their safety, More asks them to leave the country, but to go separately.


During his trial, for what does More ask?

Visibly weakened by his time in prison, More says he would like to sit down. A chair is brought for him and he is allowed to make his statements while seated.


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