Garlands of awards and critical praise greeted this play in New York and London. Poul Scofield was pronounced brilliant for his portrayal of Sir Thomas More in his last years as Lord Chancellor of England during the reign of Henry VIII. When Henry fails to obtain from the Pope a divorce from Catherine of Aragon so he can marry Ann Boleyn, he rebels by requiring his subjects to sign an Act of Supremacy making him both spiritual and temporal leader of England. More can not in conscience comply. Neither, Thomas Cromwell, Cardinal Wolsey nor the King himself can get a commitment from him. He resists anything heroic, waiting only to maintain his integrity and belief in silence. But this is treason, and his very silence leads him to his death.