Utopia by Thomas MOre

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Thomas More: The Promoter of Faith and Utopia Imagine, if you will, a young Thomas More and his friend, Peter Giles, carrying on a conversation in Belgium, during More’s trip to Antwerp in 1515, about the life and times in which they lived. Suppose that from this hypothetical chat the idea of Utopia was spawned, and from that verbal communication arose Thomas More’s need to address the societal and economic problems troubling Europe, especially England, during the sixteenth century. With most certainty, a discussion like this probably did take place at one time, and thus possibly contributed to More’s motives for creating the imaginative tales of the “perfect” Utopian society. Unlike many have ascertained, More did not create Utopia with the intention of it being a model of an ideal society, just as Utopia cannot be summed up as a satirical comedy. What More was hoping to ignite was a scholarly debate among fellow Humanists regarding the injustices plaguing Europe. More carefully and smartly succeeded this feat by using a dialogue between himself, Giles, and Hythloday as a means to disguise his point of view within the characters’ viewpoints, which allowed the reader to create their own assumptions of right and wrong. More may have been playing Devil’s advocate while writing this story in order to broaden his perspective and his readers’. Utopia was written in Latin, which, at the time, only the highly educated could read. These highly educated individuals, who were a part of the Humanist circle in which More traveled, were clearly the immediate audience he had in mind for Utopia (Shephard). Above all, More hoped Humanists who held government office would approve of Utopia. In a letter he wrote to his friend Erasmus, late in 1516, More expressed the following sentiment: “I am anxious to find out if it meets with the approval of Tunstal, and Busleiden, and
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