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Utopia And More's Age Essay

1839 words - 7 pages

When Thomas More wrote his book Utopia the influence of Renaissance and Reformhad been spreading its influence over Europe and England.The Renaiisance movement has in its roots the rejuvanation of the interest in ancient greek culture and the re-examination of the works of Plato.Another movement which made its repercussions be strongly felt all over the continent was the Reformation against which the Catholic church of the times was in fierce struggle to subdue its influence.One of the works which best reflects the vogue and the tensions of such a vacillating and volatile age as the sixteenth century was was More's masterpiece Utopia.Most probably,More must have been inspired by the geographical explorations and especially Americo Vespuci's personal records before he undertook the task of creating an imaginary world.As we know,the discovery of new lands was the impelling force behind man's inextinguishable desire to learn and find out new things.While crticising the english society and the period in which he lives,he uses the so-called memories of Hytholoday and makes him says what he wants to.He is in all senses an exact Renaissance man and the things which he takes criticises in Utopia are the things which a Renaiisance man also criticises.In 16th century Europe there was great disappointment with the Catholic church.It had grown to become a corrupted institution which was more concerned with worldy matters and augmenting its wealth than attending to people's spiritual needs.With the dissemination of these kind of thoughts and with the beginnig of the Reformation movement in Germany,protestanism and nationalism become stronger in Europe and England.When reformist thoughts and principles engulf England,More's inconceivable opposition to reformist ideas end up in his execution.Whereas,in his Utopia More will stand against religious bigotry and defend ideas of religious and personal liberty.While the Catholic church gives women no place in society and mercilessly scorns them,More,by showing a type of man with his own free-conscience and able to stand on his own two feet,will give women an equal position in the society.And quite naturally,More will look for a social solution in the past,ancient greece.Although there are many ideas concerning Utopia,the most prevalent ones are two or three;the first is that it was meant for entertainment and that he states that there could be no way such a society could exist at the end of the book.The second thought is that More seriously intended to exhibit the corruptions in the society and that he intentionally used the old sailor Raphael not to be subject to any sort of indictment on the strenght of his ideas.So,it could be said that he was a supporter both of Humanism and Reformation.The things which he criticises can be categorised in four groups;social justice,governour class,social life and religion.In the first book,he begins to criticise the social injustice and the wrong-doings of the governing class and...

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