During their conversation More and Wolsey see Henry return, riding a large white horse, the Horse ephsises Henrys superior power. Wosey comments to More ” He”s been playing in the mud again ” He is refering to Anne Bolyn because at this stage their relationship is still scene as adulterous. This scene is not in the origional text but was added for he film version. I think that it is efective because although Henry is only scene briefly we get a veiw of the trouble his staff and friend have to go to so Henry is happy.
From the conversation between More and Wolsey the camera flashes to Comwell who is eavesdropping outside the door. I think that Cromwell acting as a spy shows us something about both More and Wolsey, it shows us a possible floor in Mores character because even though he is very aware of Wolseys spy network he still believes him when he says none will be listening. Wolsey claims to be a deeply religious man but obviously feels happy lying to More about the privacy of their talk. We also see the difference between them, because More trusted Wolsey and Wolsey abused this trust. The camera flashes back and forth between More and Cromwell and from this point onwards the viewer starts to think that the currants may start to turn against More.
When More leaves the building there are a lot of people asking him to represent them in their law cases which shows how Mores reputation has spread over the years and how he must be seen as a honest man. More is scene totally surrounded by people, who are passing him summaries of cases and also possessions, so that he may consider defending them in court. When More finally manages to get away from this crowd he gets onto a small boat, again we see that water imagery is used, this time we get the impression that the water is not so calm and that there may be hidden currents. Part way through the journey More looks at the cup that someone had handed him, after some time he realises that it was meant as a bribe and quickly throws it into the river. This shows us why More is so highly regarded, he refuses to be bribed and was known throughout the court for the fact. When More throws the cup the boats man quickly retrieves it and says
“That’s worth money” this is the first time we see the common man, he is meant to show the audience just how a normal person would behave, he is out for himself but only as far as he feels safe. I think that his purpose is clearer in the film version, because if it were performed to the stage directions all the times the common man appears it would be the same actor. However in the film the role is taken on by different actors, I feel to a greater effect. This scene is not in the text but again I think it works very well. It shows the audience from an early stage that More already beyond the stage most people would go to for their beliefs. The scene also makes the viewer think what they would do if in a similar situation and it also highlights Mores courage.
The next scene is in Mores house where Rich has been waiting all night for Mores return, so that he can find out what position More had to offer him, Rich is thoroughly disappointed when he finds out that it is a teaching positioned boasts, “Oh master Cromwell has offered me something.” This shows that Rich is constantly sniffing around whoever he thinks may benefit him. More just wants a quiet life and Rich cant believe that some one who could have access to excess power could not be really ambitious.
The film moves onto a scene between Margate and Roper, they are isolated in a room and More is angry because Roper is at his home again. We now see a slightly different side of More, he openly shows his disgust of heretics, we also see that More is not always cool and calm, this is the only time in the film we see this side of Mores personality.
I think that the key part of this scene is that Meg tries really hard to find out why her farther had been summoned, but More refuses to tell her anything. This adds to the overall image of More as a loving family man, who at all times tries to protect his family at all costs. Margaret and More have a very close relationship and it may be because of this that he will not divulge any information to her, he knows that she would never lie on oath and he doesn’t want to compromise her in any way. This shows Mores knowledge and respect for the law, although it may also show that he is has a slight child like nature to his character in thinking that if he abides by the law he will be safe.
The film goes on to show the Duke of Norfolk riding over a hill on horseback, this shows a serge of power and the huge force available at Henrys request. The camera then focuses on Wolsey who is lying as if dead, the Duke of Norfolk reads him his ultimatum. Wolsey has displeased Henry because he failed to get More to sign the oath. In this scene I think we get an idea of why Henry was so powerful, I think that he would have been the type of character who could change their opinion of you very easily, and if he disliked you he had the power to have you imprisoned, or even killed, with absolutely no evidence. To me henry comes across as an unreliable and greedy character.
In the next scene we see More, who is given the chain indicating that he is now the chancellor. This shows us just how highly More is regarded by Henry. I think that it also reminds you throughout the play, that Henry doesn’t just want More to sign the oath because he knows the public highly regards More, but also because he classes more as a friend. In my opinion would never have wanted More to end up the way he did.