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A Man for All Seasons

Giving the Devil Benefit of Law

In my History of the Modern World course, I have begun to address the evolution of law and political rights in the decades before the revolutions in the Americas and France.  As part of a lecture on Locke and Rousseau, I show a clip from Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons.  While historically anachronistic, the film does have an excellent exchange over how to apply the rule of law.  In the scene, Thomas More confronts his family when they demand he arrest Richard Rich on the very reasonable suspicion that Rich intends to do imminent harm to Moore. You Read more