Thomas More is guided by his principles, which remain unaffected by those around him; though he does not like the king’s behavior, when Chapuys points it out to him, he says it is none of his business. He remains moral and loyal to his wife (“I like my chambers to have my family in them”) amid a highly immoral, hedonistic, adulterous court. When Wolsey tells him that he is “stained by the elements he works with,” More insists his conscience is above reproach, and that he would never go against his “integrity.” More prioritizes people’s emotions in his decision making; the instant he learns about the king’s intention to divorce Katharine, he demands to know whether “she knows yet.” When others speak of the affair, he reminds them that “she is immensely popular throughout the whole of the country.” He urges Henry to “tone down” the harshness of his assault against Martin Luther “for diplomatic purposes.” More is a proud “idealist,” preoccupied with humanism, theological debates (in his hatred for Martin Luther) and other lofty ideas. He has a keen and insightful intuition and is able to read others and situations effectively – when others tell him he’s Henry’s dearest friend, he says that may be so, but “if my head would win him a castle in Spain, he would chop it off.” He sees the escalating problem of heretical beliefs spreading through the court, far better than Wolsey; and tells Bishop Fisher his concerns about giving the king his own way, because “once the lion knows his own strength, no man can control him.” He is clever and insightful enough to keep himself mostly out of the line of fire, until a “friend” traps him into an incriminating statement. And, More does not like to deviate far from religious tradition; he admires those within the Church of “respect” for traditional teachings. He’s leery of what lies ahead, should Luther’s writings catch on in England. But when More comes down on his inferior Te, he comes down hard; he admits that he “intends to use his office” (as Lord Chamberlain) to rid England of its heretics. He urges a heretic to confess, but still burns him at the stake; and as time goes by, increasingly expresses sharp Te judgments (seeing the sweat as God’s punishment for heresy). In the end, he dies because he must stand upon his moral principles, and refuses to compromise in his support for the Pope.

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More is preoccupied with being above reproach and doing what he believes is right. He has a secret fear of his own evil, and we see it in the endless hours he spends in prayer, and the hair shirts he wears as punishment – especially in his tearful prayers after he saw a man burned at the stake for heresy. Wolsey accuses him of “looking smug,” because he’s above common things such as politics. More is the gentle voice of reason and rightness with Henry, pushing him (politely) to do the right thing, to use less profane language, to stand by his wife. He becomes stubborn in her defense, since he sees it as morally wrong, this divorce. And he cannot stand by and violate his principles when Henry orders him to accept him as the head of the Church. So, he dies, because he refuses to give in. His 9 wing makes him want to avoid conflict, and brings a sense of gentle persuasion to his arguments.