The characters of More, Giles, and Morton all correspond in biographical background to actual historical people, Sir Thomas More (author of the work), the Humanist thinker Peter Giles, and former Chancellor of England Cardinal John Morton. The fictional characters of the book, however, should not be considered to be direct translations of these historic personalities to the page. In particular, the character of More should not be taken to hold the same views as Sir Thomas More himself.


In service to King Henry VIII of England, he travels to Antwerp where he meets Peter Giles and Raphael Hythloday. More is a fictional character sharing the same name as the author of Utopia, Sir Thomas More. However, More the fictional character should not be assumed to be a transparent mouthpiece of the opinions of the author.

Peter Giles

Friend of More and acquaintance of Raphael Hythloday. Once again, Peter Giles is an actual historical figure, a friend and intellectual companion of Sir Thomas More. Peter Giles, in fact, helped More to get Utopia published. The fictional Giles shares nearly all of his biographical history with the real Peter Giles, but like the fictional More, should be understood to be a fictional character.

Raphael Hythloday

A philosopher and world traveler, he lived for five years on the island of Utopia before returning to Europe to spread the word about Utopia's ideal society. Hythloday's last name, in Greek, means "talker of nonsense," which might have been a clever attempt by the author to publicly separate himself from certain controversial ideas espoused by Hythloday (that the author may, in fact, have believed in).

Cardinal John Morton

Actual Chancellor to Henry VIII. Hythloday once spent a fictional evening discussing the societal problems of England with Morton and an unnamed lawyer. The real Morton was instrumental in furthering Sir Thomas More's education at Oxford.


An unnamed man who once spent an evening with Hythloday and Cardinal Morton. He is defensive of England and unwilling to find fault with anything in English society.

General Utopus

Ancient warrior and founder of Utopia. He conquered the natives who once lived on the isthmus Utopia now occupies, and then set his army and new subjects to work cutting the land away to make Utopia an island. In his wisdom, Utopus set up the Utopian society that Hythloday finds so immensely attractive.

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