Utopia By Tomas Moore Essay Research Paper

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Utopia By Tomas Moore Essay, Research Paper St. Thomas More is probably one of the most respected figures of the late Renaissance era. Catholics and Non-Catholics alike look to More at least on a literary level. Therefore, what better way is there to honor his greatest work than by writing about it? However, we must also keep in mind that Utopia is his (Thomas More’s) most misunderstood writing (Campbell 25). Throughout this paper, I wish to cover some major questions that I have concerning the text. Any study on the greatest work of St. Thomas More must include what he means by what he writes, but then again, it is not my main concern and so will take up only a fraction of the overall paper. One of the questions that I plan to take significant amount of time on concerns

why Utopia was written, which is not necessarily answered by statements in the first book. I also wish to delve into what is the major theme of the work, which will tie into why he wrote the book. Another major question is how and if More’s work relates to the Renaissance period as a whole. And to prove that Utopia is a work of hope toward the Christian ideal of living together in peace. We know that More probably came up with the idea for Utopia in the summer of 1515 and that he allowed it to develop in his mind until the fall of 1516 when it was published. The vast majority of the book was written in the Netherlands in 1515 while Thomas More was a member of a mission sent by Henry VIII to negotiate with Prince Charles’ representatives. The remainder of the book, book one,

was finished in England in September 1516 (Hexter 15). There are two different opinions concerning Utopia that I would like to bring to attention. There are those who claim that Thomas More intended Utopia to be a comedy of sorts or at least a way of getting people to take their mind off their troubles. Then there is the other view that I prefer: he wrote the book for the elite class, for he feared that if the common people read it then it would be completely misunderstood. They claim that since More never published his work in the vernacular he never meant it to be put in the vernacular, hence, to not be read by those who were not scholars or at least a master of Latin. I think he had a number of reasons for writing Utopia, one being the major theme, which will be discussed at

great lengths later, as well as, his views on Renaissance society. His dominant theme is most definitely the brunt of the second book, but I think the first book deals with the problems that he sees in England in the early part of the sixteenth century. One of the issues I believe that he wants to bring to the eyes of people is the plight of the humble philosopher. I see the dialogue between Raphael and Thomas to be really a conversation between Thomas and his sub-conscience. His sub-conscience is telling him that he must continue to be the philosopher and push for the right way, but then his practical side is being very pessimistic and trying to say that a philosopher will never be listened too, for his ideas are considered too interested in the common good not the good of the

monarchy. Another issue that he wants to address in Utopia is definitely a strong stance against capital punishment in lesser crimes, such as robbery. He wants to tell us that we need to begin to look not just at the act or sin, but to look at the reasons behind such injustices and fix that problem. But let us now turn our attention to the theme of Thomas’s writing. Now that we have finished our discussion about some of the smaller themes in Utopia, it forces us to go into his major theme or idea about Utopia and the real reason why he wrote it. His major theme is at the very heart of what this paper is meant to be about. I am tired of only knowing what this literary or that historian has to say about Utopia. I want to know what St. Thomas More has to say about Utopia, for it