To what extent is thomas more's utopia a response of the world he lived in?

Essay by [w]ilson.[s]High School, 11th gradeA, February 2009

download word file, 6 pages 5.0

Downloaded 18 times

Thomas More’s world was a mixed world; characterized by social turmoil and dictatorial rulers. Yet this time is also remembered for the Renaissance and its great advances in the nature of human thought. Through the use of structure, More was able to contrast the difference between the European society and his perception of a perfect society. This is evident in the letters Book 1 and Book 2. Book 1 was mainly established to criticize the current flawed society of Europe, while book 2 was used to present More’s view of the world through the portrayal of a perfect society known as Utopia. More is able to criticize and portray his view of the world he lived in through the use of satirical and literary techniques.

Through the use of a prelude, More was able to establish the three main characters of the text, More, Peter Giles, and more importantly Raphael Hythlodaeus.

Hythlodaeus is described as a wise and well-travelled philosopher, which ironically contradicts with his name, which means literally in Greek “dispenser of nonsense”. Hythlodaeus was important as it was through this character that More was able to convey his ideas of his world and was able to give suggestions towards creating a better society. Under this disguise, More was able to freely present his views of society protected by the barrier known as Hythlodaeus.

Through the use of dialogue and the use of the characters in the novel, More was able to present his perceptions of kings. More uses imagery in the dialogue to describe kings being “too deeply infected with wrong ideas in childhood to take any philosopher’s advice.” He does this through the use of Raphael, who then continues to criticize the faults of the feudalism as a system by the use of a rhetorical question...