Utopia

Utopia

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Overview

Enduring lessons for leaders of any era

Utopia is Thomas More's seminal work describing the classic idea of a "people's commonwealth". Considered an important work for anyone holding or aspiring to a leadership role, this story set the bar for a broad range fields, providing the societal model for both real and fictional settings. Although written in 1516 during the Reformation, its lessons retain great value today — while the word "utopia" itself has become a shorthand for "unrealistic", the actual framework described in the book presents a far more practical vision.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679410768
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/28/1992
Series: Everyman's Library Series
Pages: 148
Sales rank: 190,075
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.29(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Sir Thomas More, venerated in the Catholic Church as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He was also a councillor to Henry VIII, and Lord High Chancellor of England from 1529 to 1532. H. V. S. Ogden is the author of Utopia, published by Wiley.

Read an Excerpt

UTOPIA


By Thomas More, CLARENCE H. MILLER

Yale UNIVERSITY PRESS

Copyright © 2014 Yale University
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-300-18610-9



CHAPTER 1

Thomas More to Peter Giles, Greetings

* * *


I am almost ashamed, my dear Peter Giles, to have delayed for almost a year in sending you this little book about the Utopian commonwealth, which I'm sure you expected within six weeks. You knew, after all, that I was spared the labor of finding my matter, and did not have to give any thought to its arrangement; all I had to do was repeat what you and I heard Raphael say. For that reason there was no need to strive for eloquence, since his language could hardly be polished, first because it was informal and extemporaneous, and also because he is a person, as you know, not as well versed in Latin as in Greek; the closer my language came to his casual simplicity, the more accurate it would be, and in this matter accuracy is all that I ought to, and in fact do, aim for.

I grant you, Peter, that with all this already taken care of, I was relieved of so much effort that there was almost nothing left for me to do. If this had not been so, thinking up the subject matter and arranging it might have required not a little time and study, even from someone of not inconsiderable intelligence and not totally without learning. But if I had been required to write not only accurately but also elegantly, no amount of time or study would have enabled me to do it. As it is, all these concerns, which would have cost me so much labor, are removed and all that remained to do was to write what I heard—not a difficult task.

But nevertheless, even to perform this trifling task, other chores left me almost no time at all. I am constantly pleading one case, hearing another, acting as arbitrator, handing down decisions as a judge, visiting one person or another on business or because it is my duty to do so; I am out practically all day dealing with others, and the rest of my time is devoted to my family, and so I leave nothing for myself, that is for writing.

When I get home, I have to talk with my wife, chat with my children, confer with the servants. All this I count as part of my obligations, since it needs to be done (and it does if you do not wish to be a stranger in your own home); and you must do everything you can to make yourself as agreeable as possible to the persons you live with, whether they were provided by nature, chance, or your own choice, as long as you do not spoil them by your familiarity or turn servants into masters through over-indulgence. As I am doing such things, as I said, a day, a month, a year slips by.

When do I write then? And as yet I have said nothing about sleep and nothing at all about eating, and for many that takes up no less time than sleep itself, which consumes almost half our lives. The only time I get for myself is what I steal from sleep and eating. Because that is so little, I progressed slowly, but because it was at least something, I did make progress, and I sent Utopia to you, my dear Peter, so that you can read it and let me know if I have missed anything. For, though on that score I do not lack all confidence in myself (and I only wish that my intelligence and learning were a match for my not inconsiderable memory), still I am not confident enough to think that nothing has escaped me.

As you know, John Clement, my young assistant, was there with us, for I do not allow him to miss out on any conversation which could be profitable to him because from this sprout which is beginning to grow green with proficiency in Latin and Greek I expect someday a marvelous harvest. He has made me feel very doubtful about one point: as far as I remember Hythloday told us that the bridge which spans the river Anyder at Amaurot is five hundred yards long, but my boy John says that is two hundred yards too many and that the river is no more than three hundred wide. Please try to remember that point. For if you agree with him, I will go along with you both and believe I am mistaken. But if you do not recall, I will stand by what I think I remember myself, for just as I have taken great pains to prevent any inaccuracy in the book, so too, when I am in doubt, I would rather say something inaccurate than tell a lie, because I would rather be honest than clever.

In fact, it would be easy to remedy this defect if you would find out from Raphael himself about it, in person or by letter. And you need to do the same concerning another difficulty which has arisen—who is more to blame for it, I or you or Raphael himself, I do not know. For it did not occur to us to ask, or him to mention, in what part of that new world Utopia is located. Indeed, to remedy this oversight I would be willing to give a sizeable sum, partly because I am ashamed not to know in which ocean the island lies about which I have recounted so much, partly because there are one or two people here, but especially one person, a devout man and a theologian by profession, who is amazingly eager to go to Utopia, not out of idle curiosity or any hankering after novelties but in order to nourish and spread our religion, which has made such a good beginning there. To do this properly he has decided to see to it beforehand that he is sent by the pope and made the bishop of the Utopians. He has no scruples whatever about begging for this bishopric, since he considers such ambition to be holy if it is not based on honor or gain but rather springs from piety.

Therefore, my dear Peter, I beg you to contact Hythloday, either in person if that is convenient or by letter if you are separated, and see to it that this work of mine contains nothing false and lacks nothing true. And perhaps it would be best to show him the book. For there is no one else capable of correcting any errors and even he cannot do so unless he reads through what I have written. Then too, this will let you see whether he is pleased or annoyed at me for writing this work. For if he himself has decided to commit his labors to writing, he may not want me to do so. And I certainly would not want to deprive his narrative of the bloom and charm of novelty by making the commonwealth of Utopia public.

But in fact, to tell you the truth, I myself have not yet made up my mind whether or not to publish it at all. For the tastes of mortals are so various, the temperaments of some are so bitter, their minds so ungrateful, their judgments so preposterous that a person would do far better to follow his own bent and lead a merry life than to wear himself out trying to publish something useful or entertaining for an audience so finicky and ungrateful. Most people know nothing about learning; many despise it. Dummies reject as too hard whatever is not dumb. The literati look down their noses at anything not swarming with obsolete words. Some like only ancient authors; many like only their own writing. One person is so dour that he cannot abide jokes; another is so witless that he cannot stand anything witty. Some have so little nose for satire that they dread it the way someone bitten by a rabid dog fears water. Others are so changeable that their approval depends on whether they are sitting down or standing up.

They sit around in taverns and over their cups they pontificate about the talents of writers, condemning each author just as they please, pulling him down through his writings as if they had grabbed him by the hair, while they themselves are safe and out of harm's way, as the saying goes, because these good men have their whole heads smooth-shaven so that there is not a single hair to grab on to.

Furthermore, some are so ungrateful that, even though a work has given them great pleasure, they still do not like the author any better because of it. They are not unlike ill-mannered guests who, after they have been lavishly entertained at a splendid banquet, finally go home stuffed without saying a word of thanks to the host who invited them. Go on, now, and at your own expense provide a banquet for persons of such delicate palates and various tastes, who will remember and repay you with such gratitude!

Nevertheless, my dear Peter, raise with Hythloday the points I mentioned. Afterwards I will be free to consider the matter once more. But in fact, if he himself gives his consent—since it is late to be wise now that I have finished all the work—in all other considerations about publishing I will follow the advice of my friends, and especially yours. Farewell, my dearest Peter Giles, with regards to your excellent wife, and be as fond of me as ever, since I am fonder of you than ever.


A Discourse on the Best Form of a Commonwealth Spoken by the Remarkable Raphael Hythloday

* * *

as Reported by the Illustrious Thomas More a Citizen and the Undersheriff of the Famous British City of London


BOOK 1

Recently the invincible king of England,=8 Henry the eighth of that name, who is lavishly endowed with all skills necessary for an outstanding ruler, had some matters of no small moment which had to be worked out with Charles, the most serene prince of Castile. To discuss and resolve these differences he sent me to Flanders as his ambassador; I was the companion and colleague of the incomparable Cuthbert Tunstall, whom he recently appointed to be Master of the Rolls, to the enormous satisfaction of everyone. I will say nothing in his praise, not because I am afraid that my friendship might seem to make me an unreliable witness, but because his virtue and learning are beyond my power to proclaim them and because they are everywhere so renowned and well known that there is no need for me to do so, unless I intend to display the sun by the light of a lantern, as they say.

As had been agreed, we were met at Bruges by those to whom the prince had entrusted the negotiations, all of them outstanding men. Their leader and chief was the Mayor of Bruges, a splendid man, but their spokesman and mastermind was George de Themsecke, the Provost of Cassel, who is not only a trained orator but also a naturally eloquent speaker; he is very skilled in the law as well, and also an extraordinarily deft negotiator because he is both intelligent and very experienced. After one or two meetings we could not reach agreement on some points, and so they bade us farewell for some days and set out for Brussels to ask for the pronouncement of their prince.

Meanwhile, as my business required, I made my way to Antwerp. While I was staying there, I was often visited by Peter Giles, among others, though no other visitor was more delightful to me. A native of Antwerp, he holds a post of great responsibility and prestige (and he is worthy of the most prestigious), since for this young man it would be hard to say which is greater, his learning or his virtue. For he is most virtuous and very widely read, and also good-natured toward everyone, but toward his friends he is so responsive, warmhearted, loyal, and unfeignedly affectionate that it would be hard to find even one or two anywhere that you would think comparable to him in every aspect of friendship. He has a modesty rarely to be found; no one is further from false poses; no one combines more prudence with simplicity. Then, too, his elegant speech and his innocent wit are so attractive that his delightful companionship and his charming conversation alleviated my longing for my country, household, wife, and children, though I was tormented by my desire to see them again, for at that time I had been away from home for more than four months.

One day, after I had heard mass at the church of St. Mary, which is remarkable for its beautiful architecture and its large congregation, when the service was over and I was getting ready to return to my lodgings, I happened to see Giles conversing with a stranger who was getting up in years. His face was sunburned, his beard untrimmed, his cloak hanging carelessly from his shoulder; from his face and bearing I thought he looked like a sea captain. But then, when Peter saw me, he came up and greeted me. When I tried to answer, he took me a little aside and said, "Do you see this man?" (At the same time he indicated the person I had seen him talking to.) "He is the one," he said, "I was just getting ready to bring straight to you."

"He would have been all the more welcome to me on your account."

"Actually on his own," he said, "if you knew him. For there is no mortal alive today who can give more information about unknown peoples and lands, and I know that you are very eager to hear about them."

"My guess was not far off, then," I said, "for when I first set eyes on him, I immediately thought he was a sea captain."

"But in fact," he said, "you were far off the mark. Certainly he has sailed, not like Palinurus, but rather like Ulysses, or even better like Plato. This man, who is named Raphael—his family name is Hythloday—has no mean knowledge of the Latin language but is especially proficient in Greek; he has devoted himself to Greek more than to Latin because he has totally committed himself to philosophy and he knew that in that field there is nothing of any importance in Latin except some works of Seneca and Cicero. Out of a desire to see the world he left to his brothers his heritage in his homeland (he is from Portugal), joined Amerigo Vespucci, and was his constant companion in the first three of the four voyages which everyone is now reading about; but on the last voyage he did not come back with him. He sought and practically wrested from Amerigo permission to be one of the twenty-four who were left behind in a fort at the farthest point of the last voyage. And so he was left behind in accordance with his outlook, since he was more concerned about his travels than his tomb. Indeed he often used to say, 'Whoever does not have an urn has the sky to cover him,' and 'from everywhere it is the same distance to heaven.' This attitude of his would have cost him dearly if God had not been merciful to him. However, after the departure of Vespucci, he traveled through many lands with five companions from the fort, and finally, by an extraordinary stroke of luck, he was transported to Ceylon and from there he reached Calicut, where he opportunely found some Portuguese ships and at last, beyond all expectation, he got home again."

When Peter had told me this I thanked him for his kindness in taking so much trouble to introduce me to someone whose conversation he hoped I would enjoy, and then I turned to Raphael. After we had greeted each other and spoken the usual amenities that are exchanged when strangers meet for the first time, we went off to my house, where we conversed sitting in the garden on a bench covered with grassy turf.

And so he told us how, after the departure of Vespucci, he and his companions who had remained in the fort gradually began to win the good graces of the people of that land by encountering and speaking well of them, and then they started to interact with them not only with no danger but even on friendly terms, and finally they gained the affection and favor of some ruler, whose name and country escape me. He told how, through the generosity of the ruler, he and five of his companions were liberally supplied with provisions and ships on the sea and wagons on the land—together with a trustworthy guide who took them to other rulers to whom he heartily recommended them. After many days' journey, he said, he discovered towns and cities and commonwealths that were very populous and not badly governed.

On both sides of the equator, it is true, extending almost as far as the space covered by the orbit of the sun there lie vast empty wastelands, scorched with perpetual heat. The whole region is barren and ugly, rugged and uncultivated, inhabited by wild beasts and serpents and by people who are no less wild than the beasts and no less dangerous. But when you have traveled further, everything gradually becomes milder. The heavens are less fierce, the ground is green and pleasant, the creatures are more gentle, and finally one sees peoples, cities, towns, which not only trade continually among themselves and with near neighbors but also carry on commerce with distant nations by land and sea. From that point on they were able to visit many countries in all directions since there was no ship traveling anywhere in which he and his comrades were not eagerly welcomed.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from UTOPIA by Thomas More, CLARENCE H. MILLER. Copyright © 2014 Yale University. Excerpted by permission of Yale UNIVERSITY PRESS.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword

Preface

Part 1 Introduction: More's Utopia in Historical Perspective 1

Texts 3

Contexts 26

Developments 51

Part 2 Utopia 81

Letter from Peter Giles to Hierome Buslide 202

A Meter of Four Verses 205

A Short Meter of Utopia 206

Gerard Noviomage of Utopia 206

Cornelius Graphey to the Reader 207

The Printer to the Reader 207

Ralph Robynson's Dedicatory Letter to William Cecil 209

Selected Bibliography 213

Index 225

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Utopia 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 68 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book and talked about it with my college philosophy professor. It is an amazing book that will force you to think on human nature. This book however can not be taken for face value it is not a suggested form of government it is a tale of a world that will never be. Many readers assume it is meant to glorify communism but it is not. In direct translation from latin "utopia" means a nonexistent place. Also, the narrator "Hythloday" means speaker of nonsense or liar. So do not think of government or face value think on the insight into human nature and what we long for but can never be and I promise this will be a true eye opener.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is a fool who reads Utopia and thinks More a devoted communist. Analyze the names of those involved, the problems of Utopia, and More's as well as Erasmus' humanistic works and it becomes an analysis of the nature of man. The structure of poverty, the effects of property and patronage all create a cycle of despair. Most important of all, his relation to Plato's Republic. Does the philosopher advise the king, or is that a futile endeavor of compromise and corruption. Decide for yourself, but realize that Utopia is a staggering and insightful work, full of wit and humor. It should be read by all philosophers, historians and interested readers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book from begining to end. It is such an insightful look at the human spirt and desires. Moore wrights of a perfect world that is in truth, not perfect. Those that missed the point of the story, that this is a satire of human life, need to reread the story and discuss it with others. The point of the story is to show that even in a perfect world there are inperfections, and no matter how we justify them, someone will always be unhappy. Loved the book, definetly a story high school seniors need to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Utopia Thomas More inspired me in his descriptions of a perfect society, and how he later influenced such thinkers as Karl Marx and the Utopian socialist of the 19th century. It is my belief that some thinkers may have mis-interpreted Utopia as somthing it isn't, what it certainly is not, is an outline for goverment, and More attempts to tell us that with his outlandish names for the main characters. If u are not sure on weather or not to buy Utopia i highly reccomend it, for it tells us a story about a place we will never see, but i still dominates our imaginations.
Adanos More than 1 year ago
I must say the translation of Utopia by Paul Turner is the best out of all Utopia books out there. Very easy to read, not lengthy and manages to maintain some humor that the original author intended in his book. I would recommend this version of Utopia to anyone who would want to read it for the first time.
streets913 More than 1 year ago
The book, Utopia, by Thomas Moore, is a book of great interest to the knowledgeable reader. In order to fully understand the concepts of this book, you must understand the time period and have some notion of government. In some ways the country described is flawed in our sense of today's culture.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first half of 'Utopia' is but a history lesson - teaching us 16th-17th century English laws and its obsurdities. The second half of 'Utopia' talks about... Utopia! A world where an idealist lives and an existenlist goes insane (again). To call 'Utopia' the 'best philosophical work ever written', as some other reviewers of this title did; I can't but wonder how many 'philosophical works' has this person actually read.
Angelic55blonde on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is another one of those classic books that everyone should read. It was written in 16th century England so the language can make reading this a bit difficult/tedious. But it is worth it.This is a small book but it is broken down into two sections. The first book is letters between Sir Thomas More and several people he met. The reader is introduced to Raphael, whose the main character. The second book is about Utopia. The reader learns what life is like there, how things are run. For instance, people are re-distributed around the households in the Utopia to keep numbers even. People wear the same type of clothing, no one is unemployed. Everything is kept as equal as possible. What I found interesting abotu Utopia was that it was a welfare state, not unlike the U.S., but it was taken to the extreme. I liked this book and I would recommend it to everyone. Again, it's a classic and everyone should read this at least once in their life time.
lauranav on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reading this is a good exercise in humility, to realize how many subjects we discuss today have been discussed (in the same details) before. I find it interesting that people don't know just how serious More was about most of this. Is he sincere and exposing how he really feels even though he can't be more explicit or act on much of it? Or it is satirical? The subjects are presented with such respect that it isn't obvious either way.
pratchettfan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Utopia offers an interesting critical look at live in the 16th century on the one hand as well as proposing an idea for an ideal civilization. Whether Utopia was meant to be a satire or represented More's personal views remains unclear, however, the discourse on Utopia contains several jokes and offers light reading.
TineOliver on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm sure Utopia has lost much of its meaning through the translation from its native Latin (By no means is this comment directed at the translation - I think much of the difficulty lies in the inherent limitations of English).For the rating I have given, I considered three things: the general enjoyment from reading the book, the ideas contained within and the historic importance (and context) of the work. Immediately after I finished reading the book, I determined that I didn¿t enjoy it. After giving it much thought, I¿m still not sure why that is ¿ possibly the difficulty I have with the concept that all men are created equal, yet women are subservient to men (although, given the historical context, Moore can hardly be chastised for that), the inherent flaws I see in the ability of any society to function as described, or even some of the other more subtle difficulties I see with the novel (such as attempting to applying logical debate to religion).The difficulty I¿m also faced with is the degree to which Moore is suggesting that Utopia would be the perfect society (particularly since he states within the text that he does not agree with all of the Utopian ideals) and the degree to which it is a work of satire (a highly debated topic among academics - see for example the introduction in the Penguin Classics edition).
Zare on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In a very interesting way More paints his ideal state - state of Utopia. Here, all the virtues of men are cherished while all foolishness and - well, let us call them - all the bad things in society are non-existent, due to the very nature of Utopians, their state and the very way of their educational system.Interesting book, a rather subtle critique of the European states of the time (especially when it comes to vanity of the rich and uneven distribution of wealth among the populace - again some virtues glorified in the book may prove obsolete today [because of that ever-lasting temporal element that stands between writer and the reader or maybe some political reasons] but were focus of many a debate at the time). Man cannot but agree with many aspects of Utopia to be the very ideal - dedication to knowledge and constant strive to be better human being - but the required level of social maturity is so high that even today (maybe especially today) it may be considered to be way too high.Again, society itself is not peace loving as it may seem at the beginning - when faced with conflict (forced upon them or caused by them - for territory e.g) Utopians won't hesitate to fight, but first they will extensively use their allies (motivated by political means - sounds familiar does not it) to end the conflict rarely entering the fray themselves. This makes them very modern and in my opinion less ideal society. Again, those societies that reach the level of Utopians can be forgiven to feel supreme to every other nation/society and to behave in the manner they do - but nevertheless this stains their reputation.Very questions that arise in this book - like is it better to have free roaming citizenry without any restraints thus causing havoc on most on behalf of few, or to have ordered and disciplined society that will have limited liberties but live freely and under the benevolent government - are very common themes in SF literature (there exists no better example than Heinlein's "Starship Troopers").Writing style may be difficult but don't give up - book gives a rather good view of human nature and a lot can be learned from it.
Sourire on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the kind of book that wouldn't be done justice with just one read-through. One should carefully read, reread, analyze, take a break from, and read again. Every time I read it, I pick up on something new or come to a different conclusion about what More might have meant. It's truly fascinating, especially for the fact that the reaction upon reading may in fact reveal more about the reader than it does about More or the work itself. I've never met anyone who takes exactly the same thing away from it as someone else, and have been constantly amazed at the various insights people have that never occurred to me. To hear one's impressions of the book is to have a small window into their mind. For the sheer amount of thought and introspection Utopia provokes, I feel it is a must-read. Much is said about the actual description of Utopia, but I would encourage readers to pay just as much attention to the first portion of the book, where Raphael is introduced and speaks with his companions (the character versions of More and Giles). One might also want to keep in mind that Utopia (as opposed to Eutopia- "good place"), despite modern usage, means "no place" rather than some sort of ideal. Just as Raphael Hythlodaeus/Hythloday is a "speaker of nonsense", Utopia/"no place" is not so simple as to be the description of a perfect society. Or is it? That ambiguity is the beauty of More's work.
aethercowboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Utopia is the book that put the word "utopia" in our lexicon. Utopia, the word, is generally used to describe a place in which everything is a happy land where everybody is happy, and life is relatively easy. Like most children's fiction, where even the most dastardly of villains is just a litterbug or a liar, and he or she learns a valuable lesson before too many pages have passed.The book itself is written as a frame story in which More is telling others about his visit of a man named Raphael (though his last name depends on which translation you're reading), who told him about this wonderful island in the New World called Utopia, in which everybody is happy, even the slaves!Raphael goes on to explain the aspects of this island, and how it works, presenting a sort of proof-of-concept for better living (hint, hint, you new, developing nations in the New World!).No study of utopian writing is complete without at least starting here, so this book is highly recommended to any utopian (or even dystopian) reading schedule. It's also highly recommend if you like philosophical writing, and are looking for some great new ideas to consider.
AlexTheHunn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thomas More brought his considerable skills from numerous fields to bear when he created Utopia. His intimate knowledge of the workings of the English legal system, government and politics enabled him to posit an ideal society, wherein, More corrected the ills which plagued sixteenth century England and Europe.People in Utopia held few possessions privately. The government organ-ized the economy, the methods of producing food and most other goods and ser-vices. Work and hardships were shared as equitably as possible. Similarly, all people partook of the bounty of the food, shelter and goods, with few exceptions.More anticipated the objections that this idealized society would raise; and he answered them at length. He explained how Utopians dealt with criminals, showing a means of isolating society from harmful individuals, while yet deriving benefit from their existence and providing deterrent examples to those teetering on the verge of crime. In an age where torture and mutilation were common and executions were routine, More offered a voice of reason and humanity. Signifi-cantly, his methods of dealing with crime did not mete out the same punishment for all offenses, both severe and trivial.More¿s world was based on his well-considered principles, humanistic be-liefs and plain common sense. He was not one-dimensional like Niccolo Machia-velli; More was not driven by desire for power, fame or wealth. He wanted to show a means of organizing a well-ordered society in which the people, not the prince, would live happy and productive lives. On the other hand, More did not set his culture in a world where all was roses and problems did not exist. Whereas Erasmus was strong on encouraging upright and moral behavior, he seemed light on the realization that, in the real world, people often fail to live up to his high ideals. More¿s society took man¿s frailties into account. More pro-vided means for dealing with crime and war, as well as, with personal envy and greed. More understood that his argument would be the stronger if he could head off objections by answering them in advance.In addition, More¿s work showed his love of humor. His organization of the material, arranged as if he had genuinely talked to someone who had been to Utopia, and the overall pains More took to imbue the work with as much authen-ticity as possible, must have been a source of great pleasure to him.Besides giving him a private chuckle at putting over his joke, More had a more serious level in mind in Utopia. Placing his society in an imaginary or dis-tant land, allowed him the freedom to address a variety of political and social is-sues with impunity. Had More directly criticized Henry VIII¿s spending, his readi-ness to dispense executions, his policy of war, or the ostentatious court, More would have faced serious charges. By using the oblique approach, besides al-lowing More to indulge his love of irony and satire, he was able to elude charges of treason or sedition. More showed great courage in publishing this work, as in his life in gen-eral. He saw wrongs and dared to speak out about them. But with his fine mind and keen sense of balance, he also knew that to throw himself into championing a cause at the expense of his life would do neither him nor the cause any good. Although he ultimately was martyred for his beliefs, evidence suggests that More did not actively seek our martyrdom. He enjoyed life far too much to risk death needlessly. However, his personal belief in God and religion, as well as his per-sonal integrity, demanded that he not shrink away if death were his only accept-able recourse.Alex Hunnicutt
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a RPer since 2012, I say this is good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yup this will be awesome!!!!
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Interesting work coming from the patron saint of lawyers and politicians.
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