Thomas more utopia summary. Utopia: General Summary 2022-10-14

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Thomas More's Utopia is a classic work of political philosophy and fiction that was first published in 1516. The book is set in the fictional island nation of Utopia, which is described as a perfect, egalitarian society where everyone lives in harmony and prosperity.

At the heart of Utopia is the idea that society can be improved through rational planning and the implementation of enlightened policies. More's Utopia is a socialist utopia, where private property is abolished and the means of production are owned collectively. There is no poverty or crime in Utopia, and everyone has access to education and healthcare.

The book is structured as a dialogue between two main characters: Thomas More, who is the author and narrator of the story, and Raphael Hythloday, a fictional character who claims to have visited Utopia and can speak about it with authority. Through their conversations, Hythloday describes the customs, laws, and institutions of Utopia to More, who is skeptical but ultimately convinced by Hythloday's arguments.

One of the key features of Utopia is its system of government, which is based on the principle of the common good. The Utopians have a council of elected officials who make decisions for the benefit of the entire society, rather than for the benefit of any particular group or individual. This system is designed to ensure that everyone has a voice in the decision-making process and that the needs of all members of society are considered.

Another important aspect of Utopia is its commitment to equality and social justice. The Utopians value diversity and treat all members of their society with respect and fairness. They have abolished slavery and do not discriminate based on gender, race, or social class.

Despite its many positive features, Utopia is not without its flaws. Some critics argue that the society described in the book is unrealistic and that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to implement in the real world. Others have pointed out that the Utopians have traded individual freedom for security and that the absence of private property could lead to a lack of innovation and progress.

Overall, Thomas More's Utopia is a thought-provoking and influential work that has inspired many writers and philosophers to consider the possibilities of creating a more perfect society. While it may not be a perfect blueprint for real-world reform, it remains a powerful and enduring vision of what could be achieved through human ingenuity and cooperation.

Utopia Book 2: Of Their Magistrates Summary & Analysis

thomas more utopia summary

Hythloday's arguments are rather surprising and the Utopian society is quite unlike the European commonwealths. All people are joyful and everything that happens is simply for the greater good of all. After many days spent crossing scorching deserts and wilderness, Hythloday and his companions came upon well-governed people, cities, and towns. Summary: Concerning the Best State of a Commonwealth and the New Island of Utopia More Meets Hythloday The narrator, Thomas More, arrives in Bruges, in present-day Belgium, and meets his friend Peter Giles. The history of utopian thought. Until these problems are solved, he says, justice will be mere show and not profitable, and children will be brought up in sin. More was a deeply devoted humanist and catholic.

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Utopia Book Summary, by Sir Thomas More

thomas more utopia summary

There is no money, and no one is richer than anyone else. What is the purpose of utopian religion? Additionally the Latin rendering of More's name, Morus, is similar to the word for a fool in Greek μωρός. His motivation for doing this was that he wanted to divorce his wife and marry another, but Catholic doctrine would not allow for this to happen. Hythloday gladly agrees, but says that the telling will require leisure. More and Giles are impressed by Hythloday's immense knowledge and ask him why he does not seek employment in the service of a king. In 1529, King Henry VIII appointed Thomas More as Lord Chancellor to succeed Cardinal Wolsey.

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Utopia by Thomas More: Summary & Analysis

thomas more utopia summary

Gold and silver, prized among English possessions, are used in chamber pots and slave fetters in Utopia. Most Utopians are monotheists and their religion is similar to Christianity. More is most well known for his novel titled Utopia. New York: Penguin Books. The lawyer responds that England should cherish these pampered, out-of-work serving men, for they are stouter and more courageous than craftsmen and farmers tend to be, and they make up the whole strength of the English army as such.

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Utopia by Sir Thomas More Plot Summary

thomas more utopia summary

Ultimately, however, he decided that he could best serve God through the practice of law. The lawyer praises the rigorous justice executed upon felons and especially thieves at that time, for many were hanged for their crimes and few escaped punishment. The only offense for which there is a prescribed punishment is adultery: a person who commits adultery once is forced into bondage, and a person who commits the offense twice is sentenced to death. The cities are all virtually identical to one another—prosperous, conveniently laid out—but Amaurote is the capital because of its central location. Thus, a child who prefers to be a woodworker would be moved to a family of woodworkers.

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Thomas More Biography & Utopia

thomas more utopia summary

His proposals meet with derision, until they are given legitimate thought by the Cardinal, at which point they meet with great general approval. Thomas More asks Hythloday to describe the island of Utopia in great detail, from its geography to its cities to its people to its customs to its laws. More's Utopia is very different from the English society and government at the time More penned "Utopia. Irrational princes who do everything they can to control their people will ironically bring about revolutions in their realm. Licensed as Creative Commons BY-SA and published in multiple electronic formats HTML, PDF, TXT, ODF, EPUB, and as a Social Book. While not engaged in his official duties, More spends time conversing about intellectual matters with his friend, Peter Giles. Political Career Valued for his wisdom, education, and sound counsel, More's political star rose steadily during the reign of Henry VIII, the second Tudor monarch, which began in 1509.

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Utopia by Thomas More

thomas more utopia summary

More the author parodies the genre of the travel narrative throughout his work. The catalyst for Henry VIII's campaign was his desire to end his marriage to Queen Katherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. It is unclear whether More is simply being ironic, an in-joke for those who know Greek, seeing as the place he is talking about does not actually exist or whether there is actually a sense of distancing of Hythlodaeus' and the More's "Morus" views in the text from his own. The strength of it all, is that More amazingly knew his socialist state was not perfect; even for the society of England: …though he is a man of unquestioned learning, and highly experienced in the ways of the world, I cannot agree with everything he said. In some ways, Utopia is a way of presenting philosophical ideals in such a way as to avoid the pitfalls Hythloday points out here. Another custom of the council is to not debate a matter on the day it is proposed, but to wait till the next meeting.


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What is Utopia according to Thomas More?

thomas more utopia summary

What is utopian philosophy? If More had this definition in mind it would clarify the majority of the ambiguities within the context of the text, also illustrating even more of the oppression More faced in England; as well as, his fear of it. More, just as anyone, was a slave of the society he lived in. The Cardinal, seeing that the argument will not end, sends the fool away, changes the subject, and soon after dismisses all his company. More concludes that many of the Utopian customs described by Hythloday, such as their methods of making war and their belief in communal property, seem absurd. Although he spent time living in a monastery and adopted the lifelong habits of prayer, fasting, and penance, More ultimately decided upon a career in law. He is overly systematic in his arguments and he stifles true dialogue—both things humanists like More fought against. These laborers, humanely treated, are not imprisoned or bound unless they refuse to work, in which case they are also whipped.

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Utopia Plot Summary

thomas more utopia summary

The setting for public life, as in Plato's Republic, is the city - in this case a not-too veiled description of London as it might have appeared in the early sixteenth century. San Diego,CA: San Diego State University Press. Lesson Summary Let's review. After Hythloday concludes his discourse on Utopia, More thinks to himself that many Utopian laws and policies are founded on no good reason, even when it comes to the principal foundation of their ordinances their collective ownership of resources and moneyless economy. For the purpose of the following Summaries and Commentaries, the name More will refer to the fictional character while Sir Thomas More refers to the author. He also criticises the use of execution to punish theft by saying that thieves might as well murder whom they rob, to remove witnesses, if the punishment is going to be the same. This reminds him of the Utopians, who have very few laws and share all resources collectively, but whose society is so well organized that everyone thrives.

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COMM 149

thomas more utopia summary

Only when philosophers are kings or the counselors of kings will society become perfect, as Plato says. The Macarians do not permit their king to have more than a thousand pounds of gold or silver in his treasury, and by this measure they make sure that he enriches his country and not himself. This is a novel written in two sections; the first section details social ills occurring in England at the time, while the second half of the book describes an ideal society in which none of these social ills exist. There's never any excuse for idleness. However, Hythloday is confident, as is More, that the hypothetical French king would dismiss the story and continue to pursue his warlike ways. Legal and economic conditions have more than just legal or economic consequences: bad laws and policies also lead, perhaps most significantly, to the degeneracy of a society, to wasteful entertainment and vicious character. The Prince governs for a lifetime unless he is deposed on suspicion of tyranny.

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