"His fourth-century cultists...tried to make him the new Moses. But the Gospels make him less a Moses than a Mister Magoo."

What is the correct meaning of this explanation about St. Peter, according to "less" and "than"? Is it trying to say he is being more Mister Magoo than being Moses or, he is just between the two extremes? Can you please bring more examples like this? Thanks

1 Answer 1


Yes, it does mean what you think. Another way of saying it would be "not so much a Moses as a Mister Magoo".

An Ngrams search for 'less a * than a' found examples such as

Walcott is shown to be less a man than a machine.

Pistol [Shakespeare character] is less a man than a braggart swashbuckler.

I trust it will prove less a duty than a pleasure.

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