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Virtue in Action – John Brown and Self-Deception

Read the play, A Man for All Seasons, by Robert Bolt, or watch the 1966 movie directed by Fred Zinnemann.

  • Discuss the difficult situation that Thomas More contends with under King Henry VIII.
  • How does Thomas More preserve both his moral conscience and his dedication to the rule of law?
  • What sacrifice does More and his family make for his obedience to conscience and law? How do More and his daughter, Margaret, demonstrate great courage?

Sources & Further Reading

Carlton, Evan. Patriotic Treason. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006. Horowitz, Tony. Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War.
New York: Henry Holt, 2011.
Oates, Stephen. To Purge This Land with Blood: A Biography of John Brown. Amherst: University of Massachusetts, 1984.
Peterson, Merrill D. John Brown: The Legend Revisited. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2002.
Reynolds, David. John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights. New York: Knopf, 2005.