Cardinal John Morton is an honorable, prudent, and virtuous old man when he appears in Utopia, as well as the Archbishop and Cardinal of Canterbury and the Lord Chancellor of England—just as he was in real life. Both in fact and fiction, Thomas More served as a household page for Morton while still a boy, and he deeply respects his former master. We meet the Cardinal in Book I of Utopia, when Raphael Hythloday describes a conversation he had at the Cardinal’s table about certain laws and policies in England. Although the Cardinal proves to be eloquent, open-minded, and tolerant of a joke here and there, it becomes apparent that the other men at his table are impudent flatterers. That such a virtuous man tolerates such bad company suggests how quietly private interests can infiltrate human governments.
The timeline below shows where the character Cardinal John Morton appears in Utopia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...rehearse each of his points in order and then counter all of Hythloday’s arguments. However, Cardinal Morton cuts him off: he doesn’t want to listen to such verbosity, and would rather... (full context)
...would fall into danger; he says no more, but everyone present agrees with him except Cardinal Morton. The Cardinal says proof is needed to decide either way, but he is sympathetic... (full context)
...though his companions wanted to hear it all. He points out that all present at Cardinal Morton’s table that day disagreed with his views on punishment until the Cardinal approved them,... (full context)
More thanks Hythloday for his tale, which was especially pleasant for him because he served Cardinal Morton in his boyhood. More confesses that he hasn’t changed his mind on one point,... (full context)