Although he does abandon any morals he has he has more scruples over doing so than Cromwell clearly, as we can see from his performance when with the More’s when his guilty conscience suspects that he is no longer welcome there; later we see him showing his conscience to Cromwell; “I’m lamenting. I’ve lost my innocence. ” (page 44) However, Cromwell quickly brings him into check and so seems to dissolve the last trace of Rich’s ever fading conscience. Thomas Cromwell was clearly a follower of pragmatic political thought, we can see this through the fact he advised Rich to read works Machiavellian literature.
We see him labeled by the boatman as the “coming man”, this is because he is a very pragmatic politician, and it is his pragmatism that brings about his success as nothing holds him back; “When the King wants something done, I do it. ” (page 21) Cromwell is a schemer, is ambitions are clearly very powerful ones. He is a suspicious character, this can be seen through the agitation on stage at the mere mention of his name, he certainly is not a well liked character. He uses people, notably Rich in order to achieve what he desires. He has no scruples in knowingly setting up an innocent man, clearly he is not a man of conscience.
He is a rather sadistic character and we see this side of him as we see him hold Rich’s hand in the candle flame, this incident also serves to demonstrate Rich’s weakness as even after this Rich continues to follow Cromwell in order to progress. His attitude could be well summed up in the following phrase, which gives an insight into his lack of conscience and moral standards; “so much wickedness purchases so much worldly prospering. ” (page 43) Cromwell is jealous of more and his success and relationship with the King, and resorts to Rich’s perjury in order to defeat More.
Clearly, Cromwell is a character lacking in morality and any sense of human decency. More describes him as threatening “like a dockside bully. ” Ambition can lead to moral downfall. Since the power that drives on ambition is great enough to push aside any signs of conscience if it achieves the seemingly greater cause, we see this in the actions of both Rich and Cromwell. The Common Man too is guilty of finding fewer and fewer things, which he is willing to stand up for. He will keep his quiet about anything and everything if it keeps him out of trouble and out of the spotlight.