Study Guide

A Lawyer in Utopia

A Lawyer

This unnamed guest of Cardinal Morton is pretty much the exact opposite of Morton's consummate politeness; this guy is completely annoying. He's rude, he's defensive, and he isn't open to new ideas—all big no-no's for the kind of free, philosophical inquiry almost every other character in this book likes to do. Here's Hythloday's pretty unflattering take on him:

"As I was speaking thus, the lawyer had prepared his answer, choosing the solemn style of disputants who are better at summing up than replying, and who like to show off their memory. So he said to me, 'You have talked very well for a stranger, but you have heard more than you've been able to understand correctly.'" (1.21)

Unlike many other characters, sitting with this guy at dinner makes you want to move to Utopia ASAP.