A Man For All Seasons: Act 2, Scene Three

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The Common Man as Matthew, More’s steward, says the servants are assembled in the kitchen and want to know what has happened. More tells his wife the servants will have to go, but they will find them all places.  Alice is in shock how quickly things are happening. Alice, Margaret, and Roper go to the kitchen to speak to the servants. More speaks to Matthew, asking if he can stay for a smaller wage. Matthew says no, and More says he will miss Matthew. Matthew responds that More has always seen right through him. More leaves, repeating he will miss Matthew.

 

Matthew soliloquizes to the audience, wondering “What’s in me for him to miss?” (97). Then he catches himself and says, he almost fell for it. His employer asks him to take lower wages in bad times and compliments him. He takes off his steward’s coat and exits.

 

Act Two, Scene Three: Commentary

 

The miscommunication between More and other people will continue to get worse, as he is going down a road few mortals would dare to travel. His genuine affection for his steward, even with his faults, is real, and Matthew knows it but wonders why his master would feel for him when he can see through him. He reverts to cynicism about the exchange no doubt because that is the only way he can feel comfortable about their relationship. He has not been a loyal servant in good times, and not now, in bad times. He uses the excuse of practicality, the same excuse Norfolk used. One has to go with the times, take care of oneself.

 

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