- Utopia, by Thomas More, is a powerful and original study of social conditions, unlike amything which have had ever appeared in any literature except some points of resemblance in Plato’s Repubilic.The book is divided into two parts.
- More and his friend, Peter Giles leave Church service in Antwerp and counter Raphael Hythloday, a Portugese seaman who accompanied Amerigo Vespucci on his third voyage to the new World.
- The mariner found in Utopia a far different world from European corruption, crime, waste and war.
- In the second part, Hythloday tells of the ideal state where the government is truly representative.
- The economy is communistic. A six – hour day is all the work required of a man. Happiness is the highest good.
- The Utopians detest war and bear arms only in self-defence. Most interesting is the complete religious toleration.
- Utopia is a retinol world governed by truly humanistic principles.
- More suggests the new
approach of the humanists to create the right world for men.
The book is remarkable for confident idealism, witty phrasing and fertile imagination.
- It is a fictional account of an island nation with a perfect system of government, is one of the best-known works of satire and political thinking from Renaissance England.
- Writing in Latin, the scholarly language of the 16th century, More retold what he learned about Utopia from Raphael Hythloday, a fictitious Portuguese sailor.
- More contrasted elements of Utopia with England, using the fictional comparison to point out problems in English society and government.
- Utopia’s influence is found in several important works of European literature, including Anglo-Irish writer Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726) and French philosopher and author Voltaire’s Candide (1759).
- The book focuses Utopian society, the geography of Utopia, and Utopians’ ideas about wealth and the value of money and gold etc.
A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 39
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