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The play by Robert Bolt vividly portrays corruption and lack of moral values among state and church leaders. The acceptance of the form is concerned with a set of rules or principles that may pertain to any particular practice of the society. Bolt shows that the notion of moral behavior be based on the pursue of the strong personal principles. These principles are consistent with a commitment to the norms of society. Thesis A major theme is corruption in all it's aspects: political, mental, moral, and spiritual.
Political corruption is described through relations between King Henry, Cromwell, Wolsey, Cranmer, Chapuys, even Norfolk. Corruption process includes quite a big range of the arrangements that have been put in place to provide checks and balances. The issue integrity is presented to the people in a pretty old-fashioned value. The issue has managed to draw much attention. Secular corruption is evident through the character of the Pope. He is guided and directed by the Emperor still most of his decisions and strategies violate moral and ethical principles of the religion. Creating vivid pictures of the Rich’s struggle to power and Chapuys immoral behavior, Bolt states that moral rights are more tenuous in their quality, but precisely as real. They represent the range of action which the agent may travel in his attempt to construct a harmonious character. Especially is it concerned with a functional attitude taken up by a large group of agents whose rights in the matter have been obscured by convention and perhaps by necessity (Bowman 86).
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Mental and moral corruption is a part of those characters involved in political and spiritual misdeeds. The whole question has, unfortunately, been dragged into the arena of acrimonious debate by misguided enthusiasts. The sentiments that have mantled the relations of the characters are suddenly stripped of their privacy and exposed to examination in the forum or the press. Readers have no choice but to face the facts of current experience and attempt to evaluate their moral significance. Moral corruption of Thomas Cromwell is evident in his ideas and misdoings towards the society. More comments: “Will Morality’s. not practical. Morality’s a gesture. A complicated gesture learned from books-that's what you say, Alice, isn't it?” (Bolt 34). For most of the characters, rights do not imply duties in the civil state as in the communal group; but in the former all duties belong to other persons, not to the holder of the rights. Hence, the holder of rights may demand that they be not infringed upon and that, if they suffer infringement, due and appropriate penalty should lie against the aggressor. Individual rights, however, do not stand alone; they are flanked and interpreted by the needs of the group. In the moments of social hazard, no individual life is sacred. They are parts of the organic constitution which possess no intrinsic moral quality. The same may be said of the group of reactions classified as reflexes, that is, performed either without voluntary direction or even attentive response, such as the winking of the* eye or the lifting of the hand against a menacing intruder (McInerney, 70). True social virtue is found in the discharge of the several functions, each by its own class. It is required that the artisan remain strictly within the sphere of his own duties, that the warrior apply himself to the preparation for and conduct of war, that the governor devote himself to the task of administering the state.
In sum, the play vividly portrays that if a man is involved in moral or mental corruption he will pursue spiritual and political corruption as well. Immoral values and unethical principles result in immoral behaviors followed by the characters and their inability to distinguish between right and wrong actions. It is doubtful whether the standards of character and conduct could ever have been framed apart from the exchange of ideas in men's decisions as to duties and rights.
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