Analysis Of Thomas More's Utopia

656 words - 3 pages

What is it about Thomas More's Utopia that makes it as accessible and relevant to a 21st century westernized Catholic teenage boy as it did to an 18th century middle aged Jewish women? Utopia, a text written 500 odd years ago in differing country and language, is still a valid link to a contemporary understanding of society, human nature and morals. Through More's Utopia, it becomes evident that the trans-historical and trans-cultural nature of the text emerges through More's conscious and subconscious inclusion of universal human truths, in particular those of happiness, money and values, which allows the reader a higher quality of textual engagement and insight.

Whilst More may be intending to simply tell the story of a traveller's voyages and sagas, it is his inclusion of these certain universal mores, values and beliefs that readily transcend from his 15th century pen to my 21st century understanding.

In the text itself, a surprising incorporation by More is the inclusion of himself as an actual major character, with the other being the protagonist Raphael Hythlodaeus. When presented with aspect, I unconsciously made the apparent connection that More, as the author, was represented through More, the character. This interpretation continued instinctively throughout the text to its conclusion and, with the newly acquired knowledge of More's personal characteristics, was only transformed until I was presented with the moral working of both characters during my re-reading. More, as a character, was portrayed as cold, critical and clinical in his manner whilst Raphael was depicted as a man of high moral value and of independent opinion. With friend and theorist Erasmus describing him as "Born and framed for friendship, and...no one is less led by the opinions of the crowd, yet no one departs less from common sense". With this description, as well as numerous others, an understanding of More comes through quite strongly, as a man of independence; a man of morality and a man "so free from vice" (Erasmus). With...

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