Sir Thomas More's book Utopia

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In summary, Sir Thomas More's book Utopia provides a description of an ideal society where people live simply, share resources, and do not use money. However, one flaw is the use of slaves, which reflects the time period in which it was written. The concept of Utopia has existed throughout history and often refers to a peaceful and fertile place rather than a perfect intellectual or religious paradise. Some ancient societies have actually resembled More's vision of Utopia. The book is a response to the oppressive power of tyranny in England during More's time. More's close relationship with King Henry VIII ultimately led to his beheading for refusing to approve of Henry's divorce. Despite his execution, More's legacy lives on as a saint and
  • #1
Sir Thomas More's book Utopia, gives me a account of a society that should be. Simple cotlhes, no money, people share. One thing I despise though is that he uses salves.
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He was a product of his time. Utopia as a concept has existed forever. The further back accounts of Utopia go the more they tend to look alike. Generally they refer to some mythical isolated place which is abundantly fertile, peaceful, etc. rather than the more modern visions of Utopia as some sort of perfect intellectual or religious paradise.

Such things as the more ancient visions of Utopia actually have existed. Small, isolated, and peaceful agrarian communities that just happen to be on particularly fertile land.
  • #3
ya that was a great book. there were some definite flaws in his plan but, all in all it sure beat the early industrialized England of the time that it was a response to.
  • #4
Originally posted by kyleb
ya that was a great book. there were some definite flaws in his plan but, all in all it sure beat the early industrialized England of the time that it was a response to.

Actually, More was Henry VIII's chancelor, until he, uh, lost his head. The England of his day wasn't really industrialized, just an occasional mine or workshop. The oppressive power of More's time was tyranny, both civil and religious, and Utopia shows a land free of this.
  • #5
from the preface i read it was actually the textile industry had taken over to the point where the masses were starveling because land owners were raising sheep for wool instead of the less profitable farming.
  • #6
Anyone seen the film "A Man for All Seasons" by Fred Zinneman? It was about Sir Thomas More's life and beheading. Paul Scofield won a 1966 Oscar for playing Sir Thomas More (later approved as Saint Thomas More). Zinneman won the 1966 Best Director Oscar and the movie was given the Best Picture Academy Award.

More was beheaded because Henry VIII wanted to divorce, thus violating serial monogamy preached by Catholic Church. He asked for More's seal of approval but More's morals didn't allow him to trade off his belief for his life.

More's Utopia is significant not because it is a Utopia in the right sense but because it is what England materialized into: the Great Britain, a successful Empire that ate its citizens and its slaves fresh, for the sake of next generations to come and the joy of valuable GBP (1 GBP ~ 1.56 USD)
  • #7
Henry VIII and Sir (saint) Thomas More were good friends. Sir Thomas More helped Henry write his book on the defense of seven sacarments. In turn Pope Leo named Henry "defender of the faith". But Henry wanted a diovorce so he proclaim himself head of the church of england, and wanted people to give an oath. Sir Thomas More decided not to, and when he went up to be beheaded he "I am servent of the king, but God's first". Then he laid his head upon the beheading block, pulled his beard out and said " The beard has done no harm to the king". Sir (saint) Thomas More feast day is with Saint John Fischer, another who was beheaded.

1. What is the main purpose of Sir Thomas More's book Utopia?

The main purpose of Utopia is to critique the political and social structures of More's 16th-century Europe and propose an ideal society based on reason and justice.

2. Is Utopia a feasible society?

No, Utopia is not meant to be a realistic society, but rather a thought experiment to highlight the flaws in contemporary societies and inspire change.

3. What are the key characteristics of the Utopian society described in the book?

The Utopian society is a fictional island that is governed by reason, equality, and communal ownership. Citizens are educated and work for the common good, and there is no private property or money.

4. How does Utopia challenge societal norms and values?

Utopia challenges societal norms and values by advocating for communal ownership and equality among all citizens, regardless of social status. It also criticizes the greed and corruption present in contemporary societies.

5. What is the significance of the name "Utopia"?

The name "Utopia" comes from the Greek words "ou" meaning "not" and "topos" meaning "place," which translates to "no-place." This reflects the idea that Utopia is not a real place, but rather an imaginary society that exists only in theory.

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