Here’s your problem.

If you find More’s saintliness hard to stomach, Mr. New York Times Theater Critic, maybe it’s because you’re not seeing the whole picture. More’s real opposite in the play isn’t Cromwell, it’s the Common Man – WHOM THEY ELIMINATED FROM THE REVIVAL. (It’s not easy being both grammatical and emphatic.) Viz:

Common Man: I’m breathing … Are you breathing too? …It’s nice, isn’t it? It isn’t difficult to keep alive, friends – just don’t make trouble – or if you must make trouble, make the sort of trouble that’s expected. Well, I don’t need to tell you that. Good night. If we should bump into one another, recognize me.

They couldn’t very well feature him in the film, but to cut him from the stage? Why?


  1. The gayness fairly drips from that review. The hand tipping is particularly pronounced when the reviewer says More lacks “essential ingredients for a compelling dramatic hero. Like conflict, doubt, vacillation and change.” Those aren’t ingredients for a hero. They’re ingedients for the Common Man. Another reason the Common Man should have been kept in the play. My high school mentor insisted that the Common Man was the main character of the play.

  2. Ernie,

    Good observations. I’ll add only this: the reason why the CM (that’s common man, not cubeland mystic) was scratched from the play is because our hyper-liberalized, hyper-secularized culture cannot see past power structures – Church vs. State; Feminism vs. White Males; Racism vs. White Males; Gays vs. Straight; etc.

    Whose got the guns, thems got the power!

    How does one fit the common man into a play before an audience which would not recognize him? The character just does not obtain to the power-elite of liberal intelligensia/culturati.

    Therefore, the play must refocus on Thomas vs. Henry vs. Cromwell vs. Thomas. But even then, the play doesn’t quite work for someone who doesn’t understand that gaining the world and gaining your soul are two qualitatively different things.

    Thus, the reviewer seems bored with the notion of sanctity as dramatic. I would be too if I could only understand one side (i.e. Cromwell/Henry) of the argument…

    If she were alive today, I think O’Connor would have to trade in her 2×4 for a steel I-beam…


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