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In his most famous and controversial book, Utopia, Thomas More imagines a perfect island nation where thousands live in peace and harmony, men and women are both educated, and all property is communal. Through dialogue and correspondence between the protagonist Raphael Hythloday and his friends and contemporaries, More explores the theories behind war, political disagreements, social quarrels, and wealth distribution and imagines the day-to-day lives of those citizens enjoying freedom from fear, oppression, violence, and suffering. Originally written in Latin, this vision of an ideal world is also a scathing satire of Europe in the sixteenth century and has been hugely influential since publication, shaping utopian fiction even today.

163 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1516

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About the author

Thomas More

522 books758 followers
Sir Thomas More (1477-1535), venerated by Catholics as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He was a councillor to Henry VIII and also served as Lord High Chancellor of England from October 1529 to 16 May 1532.

More opposed the Protestant Reformation, in particular the theology of Martin Luther and William Tyndale. He also wrote Utopia, published in 1516, about the political system of an imaginary ideal island nation. More opposed the King's separation from the Catholic Church, refusing to acknowledge Henry as Supreme Head of the Church of England and the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. After refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy, he was convicted of treason and beheaded.

Pope Pius XI canonised More in 1935 as a martyr. Pope John Paul II in 2000 declared him the "heavenly Patron of Statesmen and Politicians." Since 1980, the Church of England has remembered More liturgically as a Reformation martyr. The Soviet Union honoured him for the Communistic attitude toward property rights expressed in Utopia.

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Profile Image for Henry Avila.
458 reviews3,242 followers
October 4, 2022
As the centuries roll by, more and more books are written about Utopian societies that should be established on Earth, but the few actually tried... fail. Sir Thomas or Saint Thomas More, depending on your affiliation, Utopia , ( greatly influenced by Plato's The Republic) is a satire about tumultuous English politics published in 1516. Raphael Hythloday a Portuguese traveler when Portugal ruled the seas with a very unlikely name for a native of that country.

He recites the story of his life, has visited many nations in the world but none which effected him so much like his five- year stay on Utopia. The interested listeners are Sir Thomas More and his friend Belgian Peter Giles, both historical figures, a strange tale unfolds, can the two others believe him? The island republic of Utopia is apparently somewhere in the south Atlantic but never fully disclosed its exact location, where people work only six hours a day, choose their own leaders, despise gold and silver, wear the same type of clothes and no private property, however all their needs the state provides, maybe not living lavishly , yet comfortably, Raphael views all this in the capital, Aircastle . Although they have slaves, mostly criminals and some soldiers captured in war, Utopians seldom fight for themselves hiring foreign mercenaries. This was just another barbarous place until a man named Utopus, conquered it during ancient times, he ordered the digging of a large trench and turning a huge peninsula into an island, letting the sea through, which isolated Utopia from the chaos of the mainland. Organizing an unique republic where everyone works, and education continues all their lives in neat, clean, small cities looking admittedly like all the rest on the isle, when the population grows to an unmanageable number, new colonies are formed in foreign territories . Nonetheless a couple of days a month the inhabitants go to farms and help out, nobody is above getting their hands dirty. Healthcare is free and old people are always provided for in this peaceful land of equality...if you are a citizen. Thomas More knew his ideas were impractical but he wanted to give hope to the poor and oppressed , show the world a better way to live, the imbalance of society had to change or hunger, violence and war would follow, 500 years later the planet has not progressed, the foul not gone away. Regardless the future is very long and humans are an adaptable species.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
October 7, 2021
Utopia, Thomas More

Utopia is a work of fiction and socio-political satire by Sir Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535) published in 1516 in Latin.

The book is a frame narrative primarily depicting a fictional island society and its religious, social and political customs. Many aspects of More's description of Utopia are reminiscent of life in monasteries. He coined the word 'utopia' from the Greek ou-topos meaning 'no place' or 'nowhere'.

It is unclear as to whether the book is a serious projection of a better way of life, or a satire that gave More a platform from which to discuss the chaos of European politics.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «اتوپیا»؛ «آرمانشهر»؛ «شهر آرزو»؛ نویسنده: توماس مور؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز نخست ماه سپتامبر سال1988میلادی

عنوان: شهر آرزو؛ اثر: توماس مور؛ ترجمه: حسین سالکی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، حسین سالکی، 1366، در 184ص؛ موضوع مدینه فاضله، داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده 16م

عنوان: آرمانشهر؛ مترجم: مرضیه خسروی؛ تهران، روزگارنو، 1393؛ در 128 ص؛ شابک 9786006867960؛

شرح زندگی مردم «انگلستان»، در سده ی شانزدهم میلادی است، در آن سالها «انگلستان»، درگیر جنگهای بسیار بود، و فقر و فساد، و منازعات داخلی، در «انگلستان» بیداد میکرد؛ به طوری که در آن سالها، کمتر خانواده ای در «انگلستان» مشاهده میشد، که تنی چند از خانواده ی خود را، در جنگها از دست نداده؛ و یا به هر نحوی درگیر اختلافات، و درگیریها نبوده باشد؛ گروهی از مردمان «انگلستان» نیز، در آن سالها عادت کرده بودند، که معاش خود را از راه اشتغال در مشاغل نظامی، تامین نمایند، و این عملا، به گسترده شدن فضای نظامی در «انگلستان»، یاری میکرد؛ آنگاه که جنگ داخلی به پایان رسید، پارتیزانهای سابق، دست به کار راهزنی زدند؛ همچنین در آن سالها، به دلیل اهمیت صادرات پشم از «انگلستان» به «فلاندر»، بسیاری از کشاورزان، مزارع خود را به چراگاه تبدیل کرده بودند، لذا قیمت نان، بسیار بالا رفته بود، و هر روز به تعداد بیکاران در کشور، افزوده میشد، و دولت هم به دلیل اوضاع اسفبار راهها، مجازات مرگ را، برای راهزنان، معین کرد؛ اما با این احوال، همچنان روز به روز اوضاع زندگی، در «انگلستان» برای خانواده های فقیر، و کم درآمد دشوار و دشوارتر شد؛ «مور» برای تسکین آلام مردم «انگلستان»، به نوشتن کتاب «اتوپی» روی میآورد، و ضمن تشریح وضعیت نابسامان کشور، و گله و شکایت از آن، «رافائل هیتلدئو» را، که در هنگام دریانوردی، موفق به کشف جزیره ی «اتوپی» شده، معرفی میکند؛ «رافائل» بیان میدارد، زندگی در «اتوپی»، سراسر خوشبختی است، و بیعدالتی وجود ندارد، و همانند «جمهور افلاطون»، دارای نظامات اشتراکی است؛ در «اتوپیا» بیست و چهار شهر وجود دارد؛ نقشه ی همه شهرها دقیق و کامل است، تمامی ساختمانها، شبیه به هم بوده، و مردم میتوانند، خانه های خود را، با دیگران عوض کنند، همه یکجور لباس میپوشند، البته به جز مردان و زنها و افراد متاهل، هر خانواده ای لباس خود را میدوزد؛ در «اتوپی»، قانون مالکیت موجود نیست، و کارهای راهزنی، و نوکری، و بانکداری، وجود ندارد؛ همه موظف هستند شش ساعت کار کنند، و همه هر وقت کمبودی داشته باشند، میتوانند از انبار عمومی، برداشت کنند؛ تشکیلات اداری و سیاسی «اتوپیا»، کاملا دموکراتیک است؛ البته «مور» میگوید: در «اتوپیا»، بردگانی هم وجود داشتند، که شامل سه دسته از افراد میشدند یا «شهروندانی بودند، که باید به عنوان برده کار میکردند، تا کیفر مجازات خود را پس دهند»، یا «اسیران جنگی بودند»، و یا «گروهی از خارجیانی بودند، که بردگی را، به حضور در کشور خود، ترجیح میدادند.»؛ برخلاف «افلاطون»، «مور»، مقام ازدواج را ارج نهاده، و طلاق را به شرط عدم توافق، میان زن و مرد میپذیرد، و برای هر خانواده ای، مسکن جدا در نظر میگیرد؛ البته باز بیان میدارد، که هر دو سال، افراد میتوانند، خانه های خود را، با هم عوض کنند؛ وی همچنین اعلام میدارد، هر زمان که فرزندان، در یک خانواده زیاد شود، رئیس شهر، میتواند فرزندان خانواده ها را، به دیگران بسپارد، تا توازن در جامعه، برقرار شود؛ تمامی ادیان، در «اتوپیا» کاملا آزادند، حتی کافران نیز، در «اتوپیا» به راحتی، میتوانند به انتشار باورهای خود، بپردازند؛ دین رسمی «اتوپیا» خداپرستی، همراه با نوعی طبیعت پرستی است، و آزار و اذیت سایر ادیان، دارای مجازات است

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 01/10/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 14/07/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Leonard Gaya.
Author 1 book866 followers
April 8, 2021
The term “utopia” is Thomas More’s most enduring invention. Its meaning is not completely clear, however: is utopia a good place (εὖ-τόπος) or a no place or nowhere (οὐ-τόπος)? Probably both: in a sense, a utopia is a place “too good to be true”. Socrates described the first utopia in Plato’s Republic: an ideal society in the platonic sense, viz. a community in its pure, perfect form, ruled according to the logos only, unpolluted with sublunary, material, human imperfections.

Thomas More borrowed from Plato’s concept and added a few ideas of his own — possibly also, he did some shop-lifting in St Augustine’s City of God (another canonical book, written by another political figure and canonised author). More’s book, for instance, elaborates on the idea of a “philosopher-king” but notes with regret (through his mouthpiece, Raphael) that “Plato was right to suppose that unless kings became philosophers themselves, they would never accept the counsels of philosophers” (Penguin Classics, p. 57). As in Plato, More’s exposition method is in the form of a dialogue: Thomas More (a fictional surrogate of the author) discusses with a sailor about the places he has visited in the New World. We are in the early 16th century, at the time of Henry VIII’s rule over a seafaring England, and in the wake of Columbus’s discovery. The island of Utopia (fictional but presented as real) is situated somewhere off the coast of South America.

Raphael proceeds to describe all the particulars of this Utopian society thoroughly, sometimes in slightly goofy terms: its capital city, its form of government, its laws and justice system, religions and ceremonies, military strategies, its people’s trades, schedules, houses, clothing, values, philosophy — quite similar to Epicureanism, with a strong emphasis on the uses of mind and bodily pleasures. In particular, Raphael makes a strong case against private property: “there can be no equitable or just distribution of goods, nor can the affairs of this world be conducted happily, unless private ownership is completely suppressed.” (p. 70). He also advocates the abolition of money — gold in Utopia is used to make chamber pots (!). Above all, the existence of money is conducive to a “conspiracy of the rich” (p. 167).

Although the wealth inequality More denounced in his time is still and even more noticeable today, the whole idea of More’s Utopia has become extremely foreign to our post-modern capitalistic, liberal way of thinking. Indeed, some things may feel a bit disturbing to the modern reader. First (not a surprise), women are not treated as equals to men; also, slavery is business as usual in the Utopian archipelago. What feels more disturbing in More’s ideal society is his obsession with work and avoiding idleness at any cost (as the famous proverb says: “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”). People have to keep busy always, and hard labour is the standard punishment for most crimes. Moreover, there is no private property and no room for any privacy either. The life of a Utopian is to be “always in the public gaze” (p. 98). In short, More’s Utopia is a proto-version of Bentham’s panopticon and, in some sense, of our world of constant digital surveillance.

In the centuries following Thomas More’s opus, utopian ideals flourished everywhere. A few years after More, Rabelais published his Gargantua featuring the Abbey of Thélème, where people are invited to “fay çe que vouldras” (do what thou wilt). Sancho Panza, in Don Quijote, will try to rule his island as yet another utopia — and will fail. Then, the Noble Savage will become the flag bearer of utopianism, in Montaigne, Defoe and Rousseau. It will sometimes take a mocking satirical twist, notably with Swift’s Houyhnhnms (Gulliver's Travels) and Voltaire’s El Dorado (Candide). Later still, throughout the 19th century, Proudhon and other anarcho-syndicalists will steal More’s idea and declare that “property is theft!”; Marx and Engels will advocate a classless, communist society; same again with William Morris. Even Nietzsche, with his dawn of an Übermensch, apt to thrive in a godless world — all are utopian thinkers and, in some way, spiritual children of Thomas More.

For better and for worse, utopian ideas really took form during the 20th century, first through the October Revolution; later with the establishment of Nazi Germany. Both attempts ended in utter disaster. Regardless, many more micro-utopias have proliferated since: from egalitarian phalanstères to hippie, ecological, goat-herding, evangelist, gender-based, sexual-behaviour-based, millenarist, post-humanist or nudist communities of all flavours. I’m not even sure at this juncture whether post-modern capitalism isn’t yet another soon-to-fail utopia.

And so, parallel to this swarm of club-utopias, cult-utopias, the ideal of a full-fledge utopian society has nowadays wholly lost its charm and has been replaced with a string of literary dystopias (wrong places). Or should we better say cacotopias, in the same way we talk, regarding music, about euphony and cacophony? At any rate, H.G. Wells, Zamyatin, Huxley, Orwell, Atwood are just a few sci-fi figureheads of this fascinating mushrooming of dystopias.

More’s ideal of being “always in the public gaze” has now become the chilling “Big Brother is watching you” (Orwell) and being constantly “Under His Eye” (Atwood). Let us not forget that the good place is forever and always nowhere.
Profile Image for هدى يحيى.
Author 8 books16k followers
August 12, 2018
توماس مور كما هو معروف هو أول من صاغ هذه الكلمة
وهي تعني في لغتها الأصلية :ليس في مكان

وهكذا راح يتصور مور في كتابه هذا المجتمع مثالي

كما هكذا بدأت بذور فلسفة المدينة الفاضلة
وربما الاشتراكية أيضا بشكل طفيف


إن نموذج مور لهو نموذج خيالي بحت
حتى في اختياره للمكان
فهو ليس موجود على الخريطة
يبدو مثالي كامل
متحرر من كل الشرور التي تعاني منها البشرية على الأرض

وأحيانا وأنت تقرأ هذا الكتاب المميز والنادر
تراه وقد حول البشر دون أن يشعر لآلات ضخمة منتجة
في سبيل ذلك الخير الأسمى الذي لا يتحقق أبدا

أفكاره عن الدين كانت مميزة كذلك

والكتاب في مجمله من ضرورات مشروع القراءة لدى أي شخص

ربما أتكلم عنه بالتفصيل لاحقا

Profile Image for Luís.
1,864 reviews522 followers
March 6, 2023
How many today read utopias - and their opposite: dystopias - without worrying that one day, amid the Renaissance, a humanist named Thomas More wrote this story, whose title has become so familiar that it forgets from where it comes? It is the ransom of some writers to abandon bits of their work or themselves to everyday language.
The Utopia of More is the search for a harmonious and moral society. It bears the mark of its author's rigorism - rigorism which earned him beheaded for refusing to take an oath to an act of the English Parliament that rejected the Pope's authority - and bears no resemblance to the libertarian utopias in the second half. Of the XXth century. Please make no mistake: you can't enjoy yourself unhindered in paradise!
Thus, this original utopia - inspired by ancient texts, including Plato and his ideal city -has its limits, prescribed by its law, like all those that will follow. Because we had understood that utopia is an "imaginary country where an ideal government reigns over a happy people," it "does not consider the reality" of the multiple worlds and their particularities. Said utopia of More appears in many ways as a tyranny of happiness and isolationism at will. According to the founder of the island of utopia, to live happily, let's live in hiding, which is a utopia! As proof, it is a navigator who reveals, after having discovered it, the island's existence, that is to say, a man who seeks new horizons, which is inhuman "nature."
The Utopia of Thomas More had the ambition, through fiction, to propose this famous ideal government that the men seek. But it is understood that the ideal of the neighbor is not mine; this makes it difficult, in reality, to achieve a utopian consensus in the sense that society is making agreements and disagreements between the individuals who compose it. Would it then be an impossible dream if there was a dream?
Beyond these political considerations, the author did not perhaps foresee that his text would become the first stone of a literary genre that has not ceased to grow and multiply since. Therein lies the genius of More, to create a coherent imaginary world hidden from the world's disorders: a whole romantic program!
That's a disturbing fluidity work written five centuries ago and constitutive of Western culture.
Profile Image for İntellecta.
199 reviews1,536 followers
February 14, 2020
Ütopya 8. Henry döneminde Thomas More tarafından tasarlanmış bir kitap. Söz konusu esere konu olan Ütopya savaşın, suçun, ve adaletsizliğin olmadığı hayali bir adadır. Burada özel mülkiyete yer yoktur. Hatta insanlar alışmasınlar diye oturdukları konutlar belli süreler sonra değiştirilmektedir. Orwellin 1984'ünde olduğu gibi herkes herkesi gözetler. Özel alan bulunmadığından, herşey her zaman açıkta, göz önünde ve gözetim altındadır. Özel alanın ortadan kalkması gizliliğin, özelliğin, otonomun yok olmasının da nedenidir Ütopya toplumunda.
Ütopya Thomas More'un ideal bir dünya tasavvurundan çok sapmış olarak değerlendirdiği Avrupa medeniyetini bir eleştirisi olarak da görülebilir. More, İngiltere kralına karşı ifade edemediği eleştirilerini Ütopyalıların düşsel yaşamını anlatarak yapmıştır! Ilginç olan 16. yüzyılda bir yazarın ütopyası olan bir durumun 20. yüzyılda bir başka yazarın distopyası haline gelmesidir.
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,196 reviews9,483 followers
February 10, 2017

Thomas More's life blah blah feudalism, in which virtually all power resided with enormous white ducks while the peasants had to wear roller skates even in bed. The late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries blah blah Renaissance, a flowering of platform heel shoes and massive shagging blah blah Italy blah blah large glands. Aspects of this blah blah the ducks. Blah blah discovery of smaller ducks, at first denied by Pope Barbary VII. Vasco da Gama proved ducks were American not from Byzantium.

Humanists emphasized the dignity of all reasonably large men, their thought and writings and their halfway-impressive private parts. Blah blah Scots Porridge Oats blah blah Erasmus not a duck, Leonardo partly a duck, John Knox almost entirely duck. They saw feudal society as irrational, consisting of small piles of nondescript rubbish, but adde parvum parvo magnus acervus erit (add a little to a little and you get a great flooking heap – Hovis, “Second Dialogue Concerning the Scrofula”).

With the Reformation, the face of Europe was warped by intense mascara and facial tattooing. England was no exception; protestants continuously blah blah until it almost fell off. Then the English King Eider VIII, blah blah Pope blah blah roll me over lay me down and do it again.

More (feathered in the right arm and lower back only) wrote Utopia in 1516, just before the outbreak of the second game of Football. Utopia, originally written in Latin and later translated into Latin, depicts what its narrator Sir Dakota Fanning claimed to be an ideal human society. The book was a huge success, so at least the author’s life became a whole lot more ideal, if you know what I mean. He was now able to afford to prove the famous old saying amare et sapere vix deo conceditur (even the wise find shagging essentially ludicrous - Horace, "Third Dialogue Concerning the Proper Disposition of Horses").
Profile Image for James.
Author 19 books3,579 followers
May 21, 2020
FYI - Read years ago, wrote review in college... Thomas More was the first to coin the word “utopia.” More was the son of a court judge, and a page to Archbishop Morton throughout his youth in London. He was profoundly affected not only by these two great gentlemen, but also by the philosophy of humanism that was spread by Erasmus during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Europe. As a result of More’s fanatical advocacy of socialism and communism, he was tried, and later executed on July 6th, 1535, at the age fifty-seven. Sir Thomas More is studied today as a leader of Renaissance literature in England because of his famous work Utopia, which was published in 1516. In his work, More creates an ideal society on an imaginary island in strange waters. The word “utopia” is best translated from the Greek as “a place that can never be” because a “utopia” is a perfect society; however, More was simply using this perfect society to satirize life in London during that time period. He was not proposing a solution to England’s ills.
Before Thomas More began writing his masterpiece, he was privileged to read several other works, which enabled him to write Utopia. Plato’s Republic, St. Augustine’s City of God, and the stories about Paradise and The Garden of Eden from the Book of Genesis profoundly influenced More. He was also inspired by several Renaissance reports he received from the Portuguese-owned “New World.” All of these influences led More “to confront all the serious evils of his day, religious, social, and political, but he considered philosophically their remedy, and that in a manner far in advance of the period at which he wrote… Utopia has been interpreted to condone every kind of political theory directed to the transference of power and wealth to self-styled reformers” (Warrington xii). More wanted to reform the society that he lived in; however, it was next to impossible to reform a society that had already been set in its ways. According to Thomas I. White, “More’s Utopia has been aptly described as a work that can be read in an evening but may take a lifetime to understand. One reason for this is that the book is built on the intellectual equivalent of a geological fault. The simple landscape suggested by Utopia’s structure and conception belies subterranean forces that push and pull the book in different directions. The resulting tensions may not lead to earthquakes, but they certainly erupt in dramatically different interpretations of More’s little classic” (White 37). Thus, it is difficult to know what More’s intentions were in writing Utopia.
Per Chad Walsh, noted critic and interpreter of utopian societies, “a utopia is often an oblique satire on the writer’s own society, though it need not be. It can represent simply his attempt to conceive of a perfect society… More offered Utopia as a guide to the improvement of an England that badly needed it. He wished to show that poverty, crime, cruel punishments, and invidious distinctions between classes are not in the order of nature, but are man’s doing, and that man could equally create a just and happy social order” (Walsh 26). He was offering one or two suggestions, but at the same time, he was also satirizing the foolish thoughts of some philosophers and politicians of the day. Yet, critics to this day have continually debated whether More’s Utopia was a satire on the way in which London society operated, or whether it was what he truly felt London society should try to mirror. One can agree, despite whatever contradictions there are to those who claim More’s Utopia was a satire, that England definitely needed some guidance during this period. It seems that More’s Utopia was read as a solution, though it was only meant to be a satire that had some valuable ideas.
While an ideal society seems to be the best solution to England’s problems, one cannot help but ponder why men would dream utopian dreams. “Man is an animal with an imagination; he can conceive of things that do not yet exist, [and] may never exist. Man has the curious and awesome ability to transcend himself and nature… There is also the theory that man once lived in a utopia, but does no longer, and that he is always trying to return. The name of this first utopia was Eden” (Walsh 29). It does not seem that whether or not man already lived in a utopia, or is simply wishing to live in one now, is the central thesis of More’s satire. The important questions still remain: How is Utopia a satire on English society? Is More merely showing men what he believes is the best way to rid London of its problems? Richard Marius has the answer. “More could not have created an ideal society with so many flaws that affronted liberal imagination. More had truly intended to cast Utopia as a dystopia, not a good place but a bad place, one where rule of reason had obliterated the gentler human virtues” (Marius 11). Although there were several seemingly perfect solutions throughout the contents of Utopia, it was not a ten-step program for London society during the sixteenth century. “Utopia [is] viewed as a prototype of the obverse genre, the dystopia. The paradigm More created simply lent itself ideally to satire, because the distance between his imaginary society and the society in which he lived enabled him to contrast the two” (Fox 12). “It is not a blueprint but a touchstone against which we try various ideas about both our times and the books to see what then comes of it all” (Marius 12). More’s work was indeed a satire on the many men who continually dreamed of living in a utopian society. He saw where English society was in comparison to where other countries and civilizations were, and knew that he had to create a society that would give its people ideas, but not build the specifics of the said society for them. Therefore, Utopia was merely a suggestion of ideas (one or two, not as an entirety) that could be conceived as helpful, tolerable and ideal.
In fact, “More’s own society was rigidly hierarchical and highly regulated, so Utopia may not have seemed as restrictive to him as it does to us. Thus, it is easy to understand why a writer would want to satirize a bad commonwealth” (Logan 8). In satirizing this commonwealth, More was simply presenting a society that was so perfect that it could not truly exist; however, people enjoy reading about ideal utopias because it gives them some kind of hope for the future. “It shows the best society not as a normative or prescriptive model but as actually achieved, as already in existence. Utopia is a description of the best (or, in anti-utopia, the worst) society not as an abstract ideal, and not simply as a satirical foil to the existing society in full operation in which we are invited vicariously to participate” (Kumar 25). “More published Utopia for the purpose of showing… the things that occasion mischief in commonwealths; having the English Constitution in view. The island of Utopia is, in fact, England. More designed [it] to show how England would look, and what shape her relations with abroad would assume, if she were communistically organized” (Kautsky 14). By participating in this communistic utopia, More is able to present a few suggestions, as well as ridiculous (meant to be taken as jocular, and nothing else) ideas, all the while discussing his semi-radical viewpoints on three major issues. The three specific aspects of utopian life that Sir Thomas More attacked in this satire were communism/socialism, religion and marriage/family.
More’s own socialistic outlook on society dates back to when he was arrested and executed for his beliefs. Richard Marius tells readers “ I believe that the answer to the questions in More’s own mind [about socialism] was not that we should create a communist society. But [he does] believe that part of the response that More intended was to make us at least ask the questions, for to question society is to see it, and we must see it before we can do anything to reform it” (Marius 5). Since their leader Utopus basically imposed communism upon the Utopians, one can assume that More was studying the idea that a communistic society is indeed the solution for London society. He was not suggesting this, but merely saying that the equality offered amongst a socialistic society would provide stability. More does include a section on how the Utopians change their houses every decade so that no one person gets accustomed to a higher standard than another; however, the houses are exactly identical according to the section on The Geography of Utopia. Marius later notes that “The communism of the utopia deserves another word to this generation that has seen this once mighty ideology crumble to dust in most places where it once seemed imperial, irresistible and eternal. I’ve [also] noted that the Utopians acted on the premise that to eliminate poverty, the entire economic and social order had to be radically rebuilt from the ground up. That was precisely the view of Karl Marx, but More and Marx came to radically different conclusions about what the social order would be if it were rebuilt” (Marius 8).
The idea of rebuilding the entire society from scratch comes along by way of Utopus, who senses that again, equality amongst the people can only be achieved when things are created from originality, not from existing lands. Unless man rebuilds everything he owns, there can be no sense of justice. Similar in the ideas of socialism and communism, man must work together to bring about the overwhelming outpouring of parity. Thus, More is not suggesting that communism is the only way to go - the “be-all, end-all” answer to the problems in London society; he is satirizing the idea that everything has to be destroyed (and rebuilt) in order to gain fairness and equality. London society was still heavily distinct amongst classes at the time. Marius writes that “to the middle-class people like ourselves, our messy and fragmented society looks good in comparison to Utopia. Here, More’s Augustinian conception of sinful humankind becomes burdensome to the soul, for in the Utopian commonwealth, individualism and privacy are threats to the state. I suspect that we see as clearly as anyone does in Utopia just why communism did not work. The weight of human depravity was simply too much to be balanced by eliminating private property” (Marius 5). A communistic society that contains laws saying that private property is not allowed in society will never last long. People have an inner need to own something, and More is pointing this out in Utopia; he laughs at those who want to take everything away from the people of English society. He basically tells the readers that if such a thing were to occur, they should beware of an outbreak of war. He concludes by showing how much the Utopians are afraid of war. Exactly. They are so afraid of war that it is necessary to have such a militaristic society with communism at the helm in their society; however, it would not work in London society. According to Kenyon, “More argues [that] men could attain salvation only if temptation were first to be removed. Given this, it was evident to More that social institutions required radical emendation. Consequently, in Utopia, More is to be discovered proposing a series of alternative arrangements such as communism which, he hoped, might remove the temptation of sinfulness presented by existing institutions such as private property” (Kenyon 54). More thought that some of the socialistic views would work in English society, but he knew that London was not ready for an overhaul. He thus satirized what it would be like if England were communistic. There would not be a single freedom such as private property. Just as communism was a seriously discussed issue as one solution for a utopian society, so were the fundamental laws of religion.
“More posits in Utopia a set of social institutions designed to reduce temptation, limit available choices, and channel the will in a requisite direction. The question of whether by living under such constraining institutions individuals nevertheless exercise free will is not developed by More to the extent that it might be” (Kenyon 58). Thus free will , as in the free will to choose whatever religion you want to follow, is a prime target for satire in this work. At the time when More lived, there were many ongoing debates over Puritanism, Catholicism, Protestantism, etc. “The discussion of religion presented in Utopia generates a problem not least because we are informed that although they do not subscribe to full-fledged sixteenth-century Catholicism, the Utopians follow a religion that in terms both of its doctrines and its externals maintains several important prescriptive recommendations relevant to the salvation of Christians” (Kenyon 97). In Utopia, all can practice a religion of any form that they wish. They are required only to attend a church service, which operates in the same manner as a college campus mass does. All of those that attend can take from the service what they wish to since there is no one supreme denomination in the city of Utopia. After More’s struggles with a corrupt church, no wonder he would satirize his experience with religion.
“In all [of] these ways, More showed himself, and his Utopia, to be the product of a new age. His Utopia has a rationalism and a realism that we associate typically with the classical revival of the Renaissance, and that are to be found equally in the architectural utopias of fifteenth and sixteenth-century Italy… Utopia is a fiction whereby the truth, as if smeared with honey, might a little more pleasantly slide into men’s minds” (Kumar 21). More cast his utopian society as one in which life was perfect and ideal, thus it had to be considered satirical since there is no such thing as perfection. By sugarcoating his views and ideas, he was able to create a utopian land that affected humankind more than he expected. He could show mankind how foolish their thoughts were on trying to perfect and correct everything that was wrong with society. A little error can sometimes keep things more in balance. If everything and everyone were perfect, what would man have to strive for? More was simply presenting a satirical solution to society that he never meant to assume the role of the “be-all, end-all” problem-solver.
50 reviews16 followers
January 6, 2008
The term 'utopia' in the way we use it today, to refer to an ideal but unattainable state, comes from this book, which More wrote in 1516. The form is political critique disguised as fantasy disguised as travelogue. More casts himself as the recorder of Raphael Hythloday's travels to the island of Utopia, where, despite their lack of Christianity, the people are closer to realizing the Christian ideal society through rational government than Europe ever was. Today serious criticism doesn't have to move under such elaborate cover, so our first impulse might be to read it like an escapist fantasy novel. But the book is really a counterpoint to the autocratic statesmanship (waning feudalism) outlined in Machiavelli's The Prince (written a few years earlier) and the new economic relations of enclosure (rising capitalism) emerging in England at the time. Think of it as a sequel to Plato's Republic and an inspiration for Swift's Gulliver's Travels. More asks: what if money and private property were abolished? Almost 500 years later it remains an interesting question.

The book is also, though short, full of wit and imaginative scenarios. On every page!
Profile Image for Madeline.
775 reviews47k followers
August 30, 2009
Interesting, mostly just because it's cool to see what people (or at least Thomas More) considered to be an ideal society back then. Because really, it isn't.

There's a lot that I thought was really strange about Utopia (Latin for "no place"), but here's what I remember most: when parents are considering marrying their children off, they have the two teenagers stand naked in front of each other (accompanied by dependable chaperones, of course) so they can make sure neither of them has any weird deformities or anything. Logical on paper, I guess, but what I wondered was, what happens if the marriage negotiations fell through? Did these two people occasionally run into each other at the market, make brief eye contact, and then quickly run away, pretending they didn't know what the other looked like naked? I just think that would be all kinds of awkward.

Read for: Early British Literature
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,113 reviews44.4k followers
October 16, 2020
I dream of Utopia.

Well, I should say I dream of a Utopia which certainly isn’t Thomas More’s problematic version but my own version built upon the principles I believe in. And that is all More tried to do, establish something original based upon his own ideals and beliefs (but he undeniably wrote through a filter.)

His world is, for me, a complete contradiction; it’s incredibly progressive yet it is also outdated; it’s imaginative but it is restricted by the faculties of the sixteenth century : it is extremely liberal though it is also stuffy, elitist and fiercely conservative. It’s a philosophy and an image of a better world; however, it is one written by an upper-class erudite scholar who was a politician and with it comes a politician’s caution and a misunderstanding and appreciation for the real working class society that he wished to improve and cultivate. It's also written with a fear of reprisal.

I want to talk about what I consider the positives in his Utopia. Moral responsibility, truthfulness and honesty are traits More wants his Utopians to possess to develop a morally rich society. This same society would be content with what it had; there would be no dreams of expansion or acquiring more than what is needed on an individual or societal level. And this I praise because in it I read suggestions of sustainability and a appreciation for not wanting more than is needed. As such, the Utopians would never be instrumental in causing war (though they are more than prepared to defend themselves should they need to.)

However, in Utopia slavery exists. And this I abhor no matter how More attempts to justify it. He suggests that that convicted criminals should work and be placed in bondage and serve their overlords. This is not Utopian because a true Utopia would seek to remove the causes of crimes from man’s heart. His Utopia also possesses a VERY STRONG patriarchal system not unlike (and perhaps even stronger) than the real world one, but I am reading this through a modern lens so it is not inherently fair to criticise it exclusively on this point.

One notion that stood out to me is the idea of butchery and meat-eating within Utopia. No Utopian can kill an animal. Instead the butchery must be carried out by “bondsmen” from other lands because the act leads to avarice and deadens the feelings and sensibilities of the person involved. So, they keep it out of sight and eat the consequences of the bondsmen’s work. This, for me, is weak. More recognises that the act of killing animals impacts humanity and rather than outlawing it in his land, he allows other people to carry out the deed. Is this not selfish and a way of enjoying the fruits of someone else’s suffering?

What Utopia offers is a glimpse into a world that More believed could be better than his own. And although he suggests that it is satire (at least in part), I believe it is a work written with political caution and a care not to offend the King. It’s safe. And I don’t feel like this is the book it could have been had More written exactly what he wanted with no consequences.


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Profile Image for Florencia.
649 reviews1,912 followers
January 27, 2018
This book was published in 1516 and it's divided into two parts. The first one made my eyes feel exhausted, so I can sum up all that just by saying that More found his friend Peter and this one introduced him to a fella named Raphael, a man who visited several countries to satisfy his desire to see the world. He shared some opinions of the political scenario of his time (a bit familiar; whether you are talking about yesterday's kingdoms or today's democratic governments, some things never change) and talked about some general aspects of this awesome island called Utopia. The other two guys couldn't believe that such a land could subsist, since it was a place where, for instance, private property didn't exist.

A million words and a couple of eyelashes later, Raphael started to talk specifically about Utopia: all things relating to their soil, their rivers, their towns, their people, their manners, constitution, laws...

And here I stop. Laws. This society has few laws. Why?
They very much condemn other nations whose laws, together with the commentaries on them, swell up to so many volumes; for they think it an unreasonable thing to oblige men to obey a body of laws that are both of such a bulk and so dark as not to be read and understood by every one of the subjects.

That last line seems to have been quite a source of ideas to the great Kafka. And I agree: laws should be simpler, everybody should be able to understand them; and that bureaucracy that sucks life out of people should be eradicated, etc., etc. And so did the Utopians: few laws and, of course, no lawyers.
(…) they consider them as a sort of people whose profession it is to disguise matters and to wrest the laws; and therefore they think it is much better that every man should plead his own cause, and trust it to the judge... By this means they both cut off many delays.

Ignore this paragraph. I need to vent and I am going to hide it for your own good.



Anyway, this is a book about an ideal land, a pagan place. Saint Thomas' perfect society was one that worshiped the sun or the moon or believed in a Supreme Being. A society ruled by reason had to believe in something. People who didn't believe in the afterlife, commonly known as atheists, were considered beasts because they rejected a state of rewards and punishments to the good and bad people after life on earth. So, such a human being who is not afraid of anything but the laws is more likely to break them to satisfy his appetites... Not a warm and fuzzy land for the non-believers.

It has to be said, Utopians despised atheists and treated them like animals and forbade them ranks and honors and stuff, however, they did not punish them in order to avoid hypocrisy: so that men are not tempted to lie or disguise their opinions . Not that bad, huh?

As I said, this was a perfect place with no private property, with slavery (adulterers, watch out), with few laws and where everyone was happy with no legal problems to solve (yup, More, being a great lawyer himself, apparently wasn't a big fan of lawyers... sly creature!). Suddenly, a disturbing image comes to mind:

Jokes aside, this is an interesting book to read with a lot of coffee in your system. A man imagined what a perfect country should be like, and yes, it is not that perfect. This book started a bit slow for me, but then it got better. I would recommend this to people who enjoy history, otherwise you can drink all the coffee Colombia has to offer, but you still won't reach page 5.

Dec 24, 13
* Also on my blog.
** Photo credit: Gif from The Simpsons by Matt Groening / via Giphy.
Profile Image for Fernando.
680 reviews1,094 followers
December 29, 2020
Según el Diccionario de la Real Academia Española de la Lengua se entiende por Utopía dos cosas: en primer lugar, el "plan, proyecto, doctrina o sistema deseables que parecen de muy difícil realización" y en segundo lugar, la "representación imaginativa de una sociedad futura de características favorecedoras del bien humano".
En este segundo concepto se basó Thomas Moore o Tomás Moro en 1516 para imaginar una isla perfecta habitada y gobernada por gente perfecta en donde todo es perfecto. Es lógico que uno se diga a sí mismo que todo lo que lee es... utópico.
Basándose en las experiencias de Américo Vespucio (como homenaje a sus descubrimientos, su nombre se transformó en 1507 en el de nuestro continente, América) en sus visitas a la isla Fernando de Noronha, avistada en 1503 por el marino, sirven de inspiración para crear este relato, cuyo título completo en latín es "Libellus vere aureus, nec minus salutaris quam festivus, de optimo reipublicae statu, deque nova insula Vtopiae (en español, "Librillo verdaderamente dorado, no menos beneficioso que entretenido, sobre el mejor estado de una república y sobre la nueva isla de Utopía").
Con una introducción de casi cincuenta páginas, en donde Rafael Hytoldeo, maese Pedro y el mismísimo Moro, en donde se discuten las condiciones ideales de justicia, sabiduría y gobierno, la conversación servirá de puntapié para que Hytlodeo les cuente a los demás sus experiencias durante su visita a la hermosa isla de Utopía.
Queda claro que la intención de Moro es protestar en contra de los duros regímenes que controlaban a la mayoría de los países de Europa en el siglo XVI, y para ello se vale de este pequeño librito, a modo de resistencia y confrontación, algo que sostendría durante muchos años y que le costaría su propia vida.
En "Utopía", Moro describe desde cómo es geográficamente la isla hasta la descripción más detallada de sus habitantes, sus gobernantes, esclavos y de las costumbres y modos de vida de estos.
Nada parece alterar el orden impoluto de esta sociedad tan ideal, de manera que Moro enumera las distintas características de cómo deberían ser la condiciones óptimas de una sociedad para vivir mejor.
Naturalmente, el texto de Moro oscila entre una ironía intencionada y una ingenuidad evidente, pero a la vez como mensaje contra la dureza del poder y de los que tienen el poder. En cada explicación, el autor impone subrepticiamente una queja al exceso de ese poder tan avasallante que muchos han sufrido a lo largo de la historia.
En contraposición al modo de vida utópico nos encontramos más adelante en la literatura con una creación literaria exactamente opuesta, la Distopía, cuyo significado es "Término opuesto a utopía. Como tal, designa un tipo de mundo imaginario, recreado en la literatura o el cine, que se considera indeseable. La palabra distopia se forma con las raíces griegas δυσ (dys), que significa ‘malo’, y τόπος (tópos), que puede traducirse como ‘lugar’.
De esta manera, nos encontraremos con novelas como "Fahrenheit 451", "1984", "Un mundo feliz" o "El cuento de la criada", justamente ubicadas en ciudades o países dominados por gobiernos totalitarios y dictatoriales.
Una sociedad no deseada, un mundo no elegido y en el que los habitantes deben soportar lo más crueles regímenes, leyes y controles.
Pero volviendo a "Utopía", queda claro que lo que Moro formula en su libro es la más absoluta ficción y completamente irrealizable y no solamente utópico: es imposible.
La historia nos ha dado sobradas pruebas de ello.
Profile Image for Jon Nakapalau.
4,933 reviews687 followers
January 24, 2022
This is another book that I had to read because the title become a word in English...I liked the fact that Thomas More was looking for solutions; solutions we are still looking for in this age of globalization - when every country has their own utopian vision. Perhaps that is the 'utopian paradox' - how can we all live in peace with differing definitions of utopianism?
Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,303 followers
February 15, 2021
Ce ne spune Raphael Hythlodeus despre strașnicii locuitori ai Utopiei?

Statul utopian e situat pe o insulă în formă de semilună. Are 54 de așezări. Orașul de scaun se numește Amauroton (de la termenul „amauros”, întunecat, obscur, incognoscibil). Familiile cuprind cîte 40 de persoane, bărbați și femei. Sînt conduse de un „tată de familie” și de o „mamă de familie”. Amîndoi se bucură de o autoritate deplină.

Amauroton, orașul de reședință al senatului, are forma unui patrulater (ca Noul Ierusalim din Apocalipsă) și e înconjurat de ziduri groase. Totul se află în proprietate obștească: „nimic nu aparține cuiva îndeosebi”. Două sute de sifogranți (un fel de senatori) aleg prin vot secret princepele, dintre cei 4 candidați propuși de popor. În principiu, el e ales pe viață, dar poate fi schimbat dacă e bănuit că ar unelti să instaureze tirania. Nimeni nu este scutit de muncă. Veșmintele sînt la fel pentru toți. Muncesc numai șase ore pe zi. Restul timpului îl folosesc pentru „luminarea minții”: în fiecare dimineață, mulțimea ascultă lectura unei cărți. Jocurile de noroc sînt interzise.

În mijlocul orașelor se află tîrgul. Fiecare își ia lucrul de care are trebuință, dar fără a folosi banii. Aurul este un metal disprețuit. Din el se confecționează vase pentru noapte, lanțuri și cătușe pentru scalvi. Aceștia sînt de regulă prinși de război. Fiii lor își recapătă libertatea. Utopienii mănîncă în comun, la ore precise. Ospățul începe prin citirea unei pilde morale.

Crășmele și bordelurile sînt interzise. Căsătoriile nu se fac la întîmplare. Fetele nu se pot mărita pînă la 18 ani, iar bărbații pînă la 22. În chip discret, însoțit de bătrîni, viitorul soț are voie să-și admire logodnica despuiată. În același fel e satisfăcută curiozitatea femeilor. Dacă vreunul prezintă un defect fizic, căsătoria se contramandează.

Cei bolnavi își pot lua viața, dacă maladia e incurabilă. La funeralii nu sînt permise bocetele și văicărelile.

Cum să nu-ți placă să trăiești în Utopia?
Profile Image for Ivana Books Are Magic.
523 reviews191 followers
February 3, 2020
Published in 1516 and originally written in Latin, Utopia is a framed narrative depicting a life on a fictional island. It is often described as sociological and political satire. Utopia is one of those books that one reads for educational purposes. I did find it enjoyable, but it is definitely more an educational read. I mean I cannot say that Utopia is a particularly entertaining book to read. It is interesting, but let's face it, not really a page-turner this one, right? Not surprisingly, I found Utopia to be interesting primarily from a historical point of view. In addition, I find the act of writing Utopian literature as something that is worth thinking about. (Questions that come to my mind. Why do human being have this desire for creating Utopia? Why have all our efforts to create it failed miserably?) So, yes it is definitely an interesting book, the kind that can make one think.It is more playful in tone that in might seem at first. It might be boring to some, but if you're interested in literature, classics or this particular historical period, you might find it interesting.

I actually found Thomas More ideas to be somewhat revolutionary for his time and original. Some of his thinking was unexpected and hence alluring. Although, I must say that many of More's suggestions for improving society are unrealistic and well just plain silly. All in all, I liked Utopia and I don't regret reading it. In some ways I found it to be fascinating, but then again I was (well still I'm) interested in how a mind of Renaissance or humanistic thinker worked, so if you're not you might not enjoy this as much. On the other hand, If you're interested in Renaissance or Utopian literature, this could be a great educational read for you. In my opinion, one of the best ways to get a real feel of a certain historical period, you should read as many literal works from that time, even if they're not great literature or super interesting. To conclude, this is a great educational read. Not a great work of classical literature, but a fascinating book nevertheless.
Profile Image for Dan.
1,105 reviews52 followers
April 22, 2022
Not a book that I can recommend for enjoyment, masterful prose or good storytelling. Rather I think the value in reading is to see the backwardness of a Utopia envisioned by Thomas More, an ‘enlightened’ man for the times. Of course it is easy to be judgmental about his writings when looking in the rearview mirror at a book nearly 500 years old.

More, a high level adviser to King Henry VIII, envisions an island nation, ‘Utopia’ where they don’t engage in wars and where there is a great deal of discussion on commerce, judges, absence of lawyers, the importance of slaves and how in tough cases a fair prince is the final arbiter. Catholicism is the way forward. Women have no rights. And so on.

More’s writing is unimaginative by modern standards, most middle schoolers today could come up with better utopias if given an assignment. To be fair, More applied a more pragmatic lens to his Utopia. But when compared with Shakespeare’s writings that came out half a century later there isn’t much imagination here.

3 stars. A quick read that has some genuine historical value and came from someone who is acknowledged as a supreme intellect for his time.
Profile Image for Lynne King.
490 reviews657 followers
June 2, 2018
Painful like pulling teeth...An experience not to be repeated.
Profile Image for Raha.
186 reviews177 followers
September 17, 2017

تلاش خلاقانه ی نویسنده جهت جلوه بخشیدن به شهری آرمانی و رویائی با پرداختن به کوچکترین و کم اهمیت ترین جزئیات ، این کتاب رو به اثری متفاوت و قابل تامل بدل کرده
با این حال "یوتوپیا" شهری ست خیالی که هیچ شباهتی به ایده ال های بشر امروزی ندارد ، چه برسد به اینکه فردی خواهان زندگی در چنین محیط کسل کننده ای باشد ... همچنین ��ه این اثر در زمان خودش هم مورد توجه عامه قرار نگرفت و شانزده سال پس از اعدام "مور" بود که این اثر به زبان انگلیسی، ترجمه و منتشرشد
غرور خوشبختی خود را نه در دارائیهای خود بلکه در فقر دیگران می بیند
غرور، اگر که فرودستانی در جهان نباشند که او بر ایشان فرمان راند و بر سرشان مسلط باشد ، به مقام خدائی نیز رضا نخواهد داد
شادکامی او تنها در قیاس با بدبختی دیگران جلوده می کند و نمایش ثروت او سبب می شود که فقر دیگران ایشان را سخت تر بفشرد و بیازارد
غرور آن افعی دوزخی است که در دل مردم می خزد و ایشان را از گزینش راه بهتری برای زندگی باز می دارد
Profile Image for Darwin8u.
1,559 reviews8,692 followers
June 26, 2016
You wouldn't abandon ship in a storm just because you couldn't control the winds.
-- Thomas More, Utopia


After reading Hilary Mantel's amazing first two Booker-prizing winning books of her Henry VIII trilogy (Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies), I felt I needed to actually bust into Thomas More's Utopia. How could I consider myself educated and not have at least tasted a bit of More's utopian ideal, his veiled criticisms of European culture and values, and his unobtainable vision of the ideal society?

At times Utopia seems overdone/overripe, like even More wasn't buying his own brand of guiding, noble principles. Still, Utopia works because it is playful and ironic. I'm not sure I would view it as great (to me it doesn't measure up to either Plato's The Republic or Swift's Gulliver's Travels), but I do believe the interaction between More's brand of political idealism with Cromwell's ruthless pragmatism, ended up creating in England something really GREAT.
Profile Image for AhmEd ElsayEd.
978 reviews1,315 followers
February 7, 2020

توماس مور
ترجمة أنخيل بطرس سمعان ..
نسخة الهيئة العامة للكتاب

يوتوبيا ..

اللفظ الذي عرف به في كثير من اللغات لأنه أقرب في النطق إلي اللفظ الأصلي من لفظ الطوبي أو لفظ يوطوبيا المستخدم أحيانا.
صاغ توماس مور اكلمة يونوبيا لتكون اسم علم لجزيرته المثالية من كلمتين هما
ou و topos ومعناهما لا مكان لكنه أسقط حرف o وكتبها utopia وهي نفس اللفظ المستخدم في الإنجليزية والذي استخدمه في العربية كبار المترجمن العرب.


أول 78 صفحة من طبعة الهئية العامة للكتاب عبارة عن مقدمة وتحقيق المترجم للكتاب وعرض سيرة المؤلف الذاتية وبعض من آرائه الخاصة بنواحي الحياة كالزواج، والأحوال السياسية والاجتماعية والدينية في أوروبا في زمن مور ونبذة عن حياة هذا الرجل، وعرض لأهم الدراسات النقدية والتحليلية لفلسفة يوتوبيا مور.

الإطار الفني ليوتوبيا

اتخذ مور من الشكل القصصي السردي إطارُا عامُا لعالمه المثالي
واتخد من بطله الخيالي "رفائيل هيثلوداي" محاورُا خلال الكتاب وربط بينها وبين رحلات "أمريكو فسيوتشي" المعروفة الحقيقية

تتكون يوتوبيا من كتابين. كتب مور الثاني أولا في أنتورب في عام 1515 ثم كتب الأول بعد عوردته إلي لندن بعدها بعام .

الكتاب الأول
يعد مقدمة لوصف الجزيرة أو الحكومة المثلي للدولة والنظام المثالي للمجتمع. ويحدثنا مور الذي يقوم بدور الشخصية الثانية في القصة عن الرحلة التي يقوم بها صديقه إلي أنتورب مبعوثين رسميين من ملك انجلترا لتشوية بعض الأمور الهامة مع حكومة فلاندرز، ويخبرنا عن صديق أخر يقدم له شخصُا غريبُا هو محدثنا عن يوتوبيا "رفائيل هيثلوداي" فيتحدث عن كيف رافق أمريكو فسبوتشي في الثلاث الأخيرة من رحلاته الاستكشافية الأربع غلي العالم الجديد كيف مكث هناك إلي أن تعرف علي جزيرة يوتوبيا

الكتاب الثاني
ويشمل الوصف التفصيلي للمدينة المثالية،
الجزء الأول يصف جغرافية المكان وتخطيط المدن وحياة السكان
الجزء الثاني يتناول نظام الحكم واختيار الرؤساء ونظام العمل والحياة الاجتماعية
الجزء الثالث يتناول الأساس الفلسفي للحياة في الجزيرة والأخلاقيات ونظام الزواج والقوانين العامة
الجزء الرابع يعالج علاقة يوتوبيا بجيرانها وفلسفة الحرب
واخيرُا يتناول الفصل الأخير الأديان في المدينة المثالية.

وينتهي الكتاب برسالة ل"هثلوداي" حيث يتناول الفلسفة الأساسية ومدي تطبيقها في يوتوبيا، ثم تعليق "مور" في النهاية علي ما سمع.

يوتوبيا توماس مور من الكلاسيكيات الخالدة
Profile Image for Jimena.
194 reviews59 followers
February 13, 2023
Tomás Moro crea con su aclamada Utopía un ensayo filosófico y político que dejó honda huella en ambos campos.

Mediante la descripción de una república de peculiares características en la que el oro y las joyas se desprecian, la sociedad con acuerdo y esfuerzo unánime produce por y para todos y el orden prima gracias a principios tales como la inexistencia de la propiedad privada y las garantías ciudadanas brindadas por parte de un estado que lejos de enriquecerse o perseguir el poder se haya comprometido con el bien común, Moro alza una crítica al orden social establecido en la Europa de su época, ofreciendo a su vez un análisis político de la que considera una sociedad ideal y que no era, a su criterio, irrealizable.

Inspirado en cierta medida por la república de Platón y los viajes de los colonizadores a un nuevo mundo es que surge la idea de esta ciudad llamada Utopía en la que el pueblo persigue la felicidad por medio de la renuncia de los vicios, la codicia o el mal vivir mientras se somete a un régimen honrado pero que, aunque el autor no quiera admitirlo, subleva también las voluntades y libertades individuales lo que desemboca en otro mal no comprendido entre estas páginas.

Utopía constituye una lectura compleja por lo precisa y detallista que es pero invaluable en términos de filosofía política y del impacto inconmensurable que ha tenido tanto en ese ámbito como en la literatura en sí, creando el subgénero utópico que tan popular se ha vuelto en nuestros tiempos. Ciertamente esto último no pude estar entre las ambiciones del autor al concebirla pero es parte destacable de su legado.
Profile Image for Cláudia Azevedo.
270 reviews116 followers
April 26, 2019
Está longe de ser perfeita esta Utopia imaginada por Thomas More.
O autor surge, na obra, como o cidadão de Londres que regista o testemunho de Rafael Hitlodeu, navegador português que descobriu a Ilha de Utopia.
Obviamente fruto da imaginação de More, Utopia, que significa "nenhures", é apresentada como a sociedade ideal, o modelo a que todo o mundo deveria aspirar.
Poderia sê-lo em 1516, quando o livro é originalmente publicado. O governo da ilha, almejando sempre o Bem Comum, é assaz diverso do habitual à época e do que era defendido por contemporâneos de More.
Quanto aos utopianos, são pessoas pacíficas e instruídas, para quem a felicidade nasce "do exercício da virtude e da consciência de uma boa vida".
Para os nossos padrões, porém, a Ilha tem muitos e incontornáveis defeitos, como a misoginia e a escravatura, que o autor não questiona.
De leitura simples - muito mais do que eu imaginava -, Utopia é um clássico obrigatório que ajuda a perceber o pensamento e a realidade do século XVI (em alguns pontos, acreditem, bem menos distante do que seria desejável).
Profile Image for Rıdvan.
528 reviews78 followers
May 23, 2017
Ya abi şimdi tamam da olmaz ki böyle ama.
Yani saygı duyuyorum adama . Eyvalla. Anlatıyo güzel güzel. İşte bi ada varmış. Adı Ütopia 'ymış. Orda hayat çok güzelmiş.
Şimdi detay veremeyeceğim. Şöyle özetleyeyim; bu hayatta yaşadığımız saçmalıkların hiç biri yok. Herşey mükemmel. Kanun düzen tıkır tıkır işliyo. Kimse zengin değil, kimse fakir değil, para denen bir şey yok, insanlar hep namuslu hep dürüst hep yardımsever. Hele devlet, tam bir baba. Her vatandaşını her yurttaşını koruyo.
Yani dediğim gibi her şey mükemmel.
Ama o kadar hayali bir şey anlatıyor ki More; insanın inanası gelmiyo. Tamam zaten adı üstünde bu bir "Ütopia". Ama bu kadar da ütopya olmaz yaff. Yani onun bile bir sınırı olur değil mi?
Üstelik bunu 1400'lü yıllarda anlatmış. Tam bir çılgınlık.
Kendisiyle konuşma fırsatım olsaydı ona şöyle derdim;
Bak kardeş, herşeyi gayet güzel hayal etmişsin. Gayet güzel anlatmışsın. Anlatırken "adam olur düzgün bir system kurar ve sisteminizi de iyi koruyabilirseniz, herşey gayet mükemmel olur" mesajınıda vermişsin. Ancak şunu unutuyorsun, ya da bilmezden geliyorsun, yok sayıyorsun;
bütüüüüüünnn bu anlattığın hikayenin baş kahramanı insan.
Ve maalesef insan denen hayvan doğuştan kötüdür. Hırslıdır. Sürekli kazanmak ve başkalarını köleleştirmek ister. Tanrı olmak ister, tapılmak ister. İstediğin sistemi kur. Bu kadar büyük kalabalıklar içinde mutlaka birileri o sistemin arkasına dolanmak ister. Ve o "sistemini iyi koru" maddesine uyamazsın. Kim koruyacak o sistemi, insanlar. E o insanlardan kim koruyacak?
Bak sen bütün bunları söyleyeli 500 yıl oldu. Gördün mü nerdeyiz, nerelere geldik?
Ulaştığımız bilgi seviyesi muazzam. Senin o zamanlar hayal dahi edemediğin işleri yapıyoruz. Hatta ölümsüzlüğün peşindeyiz. Tanrıya kafa tutuyoruz.
Ama yinede ortalama bilgi seviyemiz sanırım senin çağının çok gerilerinde. Şöyle formüle edelim, işin içine azıcık mühendislik katalım;
Ortalama Bilgi Seviyesi = Tüm dünyada üretilen toplam bilgi miktarı / Dünya nüfusu
Bu gözle baktığında siz bizi kat kat geçiyorsunuz bence.
Yani anlayacağın insan denen varlık dünya üzerindeki hakimiyetini arttırdıkça, cehalet artıyor, karanlıklar artıyor, hırs artıyor, potansiyel köle adaylarının sayısı artıyor.
Dünyanın bir köşesinde birileri müslüman ülkelerden girişleri yasaklamaya çalışırken, diger bir köşesinde müslümanlar müslümanları gerçek müslüman olmadıkları gerekçesiyle öldürüyor, diger bir köşesinde ise birileri birilerine mini etek giyiyor diye uçan tekme atıyor ve serbest kalıyor. Dünya üzerinde ki savaşlar sizin döneminizden daha fazla. Hayvanlara ve ya tabiata uygulanan sistematik katliamdan bahsetmiyorum bile.
Kendi kendimizi yoketmek üzereyiz Sayın More. Sen neden bahsediyosun arkadaş?
Profile Image for El.
1,355 reviews503 followers
April 27, 2015
(I read this book as part of a reading project I have undertaken with some other nerdy friends in which we read The Novel: A Biography and some of the other texts referenced by Schmidt.)

In 1516, some guy called Thomas More put out this little book describing a fictional place called Utopia. What kills me about this little book is that More wrote it in Latin. Latin. I can barely write in English most days.

So this island of Utopia shows a completely organized society where everyone seems to be exceptionally happy, and I don't even believe drugs were involved. I mean, I'm not sure what else to say about the "plot" that people don't already know, even if one hasn't read the book. We all have heard of the concept of a "utopia", and a bunch of people after him have written their own versions, and a lot of times they're super boring because when people wax philosophical about the way they wish things were, it usually turns into this emotionless list of pros with very few cons.

More somehow avoids this by creating this narrative between himself and some dude named Raphael who describes this place, Utopia, to More. Maybe that's also a cop-out, a pathetic way for More (who was no angel, by the way) to say "I want all this to happen, but I don't have the stones to say it, so I'll pretend like this other guy told me about it, and then I don't have to really do anything." There's that option. Or there's this other option, since we're talking about the evolution of the novel and all, that More wrote a fictional account to build this world that he imagined, and he did it without just telling a traditional story. I've just read Gertrude Stein's The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas and Virginia Woolf's Orlando somewhat recently, two other books that play with style - in the former, a fake autobiography; in the latter, a fake biography. And here, in Utopia, we have a fake... what... travelogue? Sure, why not. Much like Sir Mandeville in The Travels of Sir John Mandeville. I mean, who really thinks today that Mandeville met people in another country whose faces were on their chest between their shoulders?

I look at Utopia in a similar light.

A friend asked in a thread about this whether or not I thought this was a work of satire. That was a great question, and one I hadn't considered while reading. (Let me preface this by saying I don't read satire well. Somehow satire just sort of falls flat for me, or I don't recognize it all.) I don't think More necessarily meant for this to be a satire. I also don't believe he was saying this is how he hoped society would be one day, or that there would be any real benefit to this. I felt it was just a story he was telling, one that may not have right or wrong answers, but he'd throw it all out there for the reader to decide for themselves. I think we all have a concept of a utopian society in our heads, but if we actually shared those thoughts with others, more likely than not someone else would say "No way, that's ridiculous and I would think x or y would be horrible." My version of utopia may not be your version, and vice versa.

(Though my utopia has a lot of puppies and books and burritos; what could possibly be wrong with all of that? Unless you're allergic to puppies... you get my point.)

I found this an interesting read, and super quick. I had in my mind this would be a difficult read, or take me a while. But that's probably because I read this right after Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur which took me months to read, and here's another 16th-century book, and guh, what if it takes another couple of months... so I was a bit nervous going into it. I'm happy to say, however, that it read quickly and I found it enjoyable. Even the comments that should be offensive (like the bit about the pregnant women being sick all the time) felt more tongue-in-cheek than More saying pregnant women repulsed him.

Or maybe I was just so happy to be done with stupid Malory that nothing More said could be wrong.

Next up: The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, Sir Philip Sidney
Profile Image for Martin Iguaran.
Author 2 books295 followers
March 9, 2022
Un libro de filosofía política que tenía pendiente desde hacía mucho tiempo, en "Utopía" Tomás Moro describe una sociedad situada en una isla del Nuevo Mundo, una sociedad perfecta sin pobreza ni opresión, inspirada al menos parcialmente en la antigüedad griega. Utopía deriva del griego οὐ ("no") y τόπος ("lugar") y significa literalmente "no-lugar". Moro acuñó la palabra, y el hecho de que se haya insertado tan profundamente en el lenguaje y la cultura global demuestra el profundo efecto del libro.
Casi desde el principio de la humanidad, de la sociedad como entidad organizada, han existido pensadores que han ponderado si es posible mejorar la organización de los seres humanos para erradicar males como el hambre, la tiranía, la persecución política y religiosa... El libro de Moro contribuyó a un sub-género de la literatura que sigue vigente hasta la actualidad e influenció a muchos reformistas y pensadores que vinieron después de él: por ejemplo, los socialistas de finales del siglo XIX reconocían la inspiración derivada de "Utopía", al igual que el marxismo.
Dice mucho de la sociedad del siglo XXI que en la actualidad prosperen mucho más las distopías-el opuesto de la utopía, la sociedad más monstruosa, oprimida, sin derechos, donde el individuo es tiranizado por fuerzas políticas o económicas-que las utopías. Tal vez porque sabemos que no es posible crear la sociedad utópica: los seres humanos somos por definición imperfectos. Tenemos defectos como la vanidad, la ignorancia, el rencor, entre otros. Además, no hay consenso sobre cuál sería la sociedad ideal. Algunos quieren que el Estado lo decida todo. Otros, que el Estado no decida nada. Otros se conforman con algo en el medio.
Naturalmente, debido al medio milenio transcurrido desde su publicación, el libro causa más impacto por el sub-género literario que ayudó a alumbrar, que por las características de la sociedad ficticia que describe. El rasgo más prominente de la sociedad de la isla de Utopía, la completa falta de propiedad privada, es impracticable hoy en día y tampoco es deseable. Todos hemos visto la experiencia de la Unión Soviética, de Cuba, de Corea del Norte y de tantos otros experimentos colectivistas. Pero teniendo el beneficio del conocimiento retrospectivo, no hay que dejar de señalar el ingenio de Moro para imaginar una sociedad tan diferente a aquella en la que había vivido toda su vida. El libro se lee con rapidez y la prosa es accesible, a diferencia de otros textos de la misma época.
Profile Image for Piyangie.
519 reviews416 followers
December 27, 2019
Utopia is Thomas More's response to Plato's The Republic . In Utopia, More introduces the "ideal society" through a fictitious state of the same name of which location is unclear. According to More, this ideal society is a model of equality and justice. There are gender equality and no class structure. The Utopian society enjoys shared living; all property and wealth are held in common. There are no private properties. There is a rigid structure of governance and conduct of society and every citizen follows them obediently, for there are severe punishments for disobedience.

The state of Utopia is governed in accordance with communist and socialist ideals. It is quite interesting to note that the communist and socialist ideas that were advocated by Plato in his Republic were reiterated by a 16th-century British social philosopher, even more rigidly. And the fact is that it was written three-centuries ago the Communist Manifesto was written by Karl Marx which was the paving stone for the Communist States.

Thomas More was a prominent statesman. He once worked as an under-sheriff and knew the social disorder and inequality. He saw how the poor suffered and how the nobility and landed gentry abuse their labour. What he witnessed made him reflect on social reform and his own views found a voice through Utopia. One cannot, therefore, dismiss Utopia lightly as fictitious and imaginative. It is More's own reflections based on his own societal defects. But given the time period in which he lived in, it was suicidal to express these views publicly. So he creates Utopia and brings it to the public as an account which was narrated to him by a Portuguese traveler by the name of Raphael Hithloday.

A major part of the book is dedicated to establishing equality, and this through by the introduction of a rigid structure. The motto seems to be equality and justice as whatever cost. The "cost" is liberty and freedom. However, some of the views expressed are noteworthy. More had been mindful of how little land was used by the nobles and gentry to cultivate thus by providing labour opportunities. Much of the land according to him were wasted on gardens and hunting grounds of which he was critical. There are also views expressed on religious tolerance. There was religious disharmony brewing in British society at the time, so he felt called upon to express liberal views on religion. As long as one accepts God and not advocate atheism, it was to be accepted as an individual right and tolerated. What is more surprising is More's liberal support on euthanasia! As a devoted catholic, Thomas More really surprised me there.

I thought Utopia was a political satire, but it is not so. It is rather a political criticism and an advocacy for a better society. It is a fantastical state and even More while expressing his views had his doubts on achieving such status. Centuries later, we now see that that is impossible and that humans somehow value liberty and freedom more than equality.
Profile Image for Gary Inbinder.
Author 8 books172 followers
January 23, 2020
I first read Thomas More’s “Utopia” fifty years ago in a college English Lit. course. At the time, my knowledge of More was limited to “A Man for All Seasons,” a film I’d seen, and very much liked, when it was first released in 1966. When I read “Utopia”, about two years after I viewed the film, I was bothered by what appeared to be contradictions within the text and also between the text and the character of its author. For example, compare a quote from “Utopia” on the subject of religious tolerance: “...no man ought to be punished for his religion" to More’s harsh treatment of Protestants, most notably William Tyndale, a translator of the Bible into the vernacular. In the end, Sir Thomas was punished for his religion as he had punished others for theirs. But was his condemnation of others for heresy against the Catholic Church and his execution for treason for refusing to openly acknowledge Henry VIII as head of the Church of England a distinction without a difference?
“Utopia” is the product of a specific time, place and culture and ought to be considered within its historical context. Therefore, I’m going to begin with a brief biographical sketch of More and his world.
Thomas More (1478-1535) More was born during the reign of Edward IV of the House of York, in the last decade of the thirty-year War of the Roses, a period of internecine warfare between the royal houses of Lancaster and York nicely summed up in Cardinal Wolseley’s lines from “The Man for All Seasons”: “Let the dynasty die with Henry Vlll and we'll have dynastic wars again. Blood-witted barons ramping the country from end to end.” More agreed in principle with Wolsey’s argument that the peace, stability and order established under the Tudor kings should be preserved for the common good. His conflict with the cardinal involved the means used to achieve the desired ends. Where does one draw the line when it comes to taking questionable, or even immoral or wicked means, to achieve a good end? In More’s case that bright line was established early in life; a line between his dual loyalties to Church and State. Where did his duty lie when those two ruling powers came into conflict?
More was born a member of the privileged class. His father, Sir John More, was a judge with political connections good enough to get his talented twelve-year-old son a coveted position as page in the household of Archbishop Morton. Morton was both prelate and statesman, a Lancastrian who wisely switched sides to serve Edward IV. Following Edward’s death, Morton fled imprisonment under Richard III and aided Henry Tudor Earl of Richmond, the future Henry VII. After Richard’s defeat and death at the battle of Bosworth (1485) Morton became King Henry’s chief adviser. His services to both Church and State raised Morton to Archbishop of Canterbury and then to lord chancellor and cardinal, a prince of the church and the second most powerful man in England.
Morton was impressed by the serious, studious and clever young page, so much so that he sent the young Thomas More to Oxford to advance and complete his studies. More was a great success as a classical scholar proficient in both Latin and Greek. After Oxford, the eighteen-year-old More was sent to London to study law at The Inns of Chancery, which qualified him for the Bar. During this period, he displayed an ascetic bent by wearing a hair shirt and practicing self-flagellation, and he continued ascetic practices throughout his life.
Between 1503 and 1504 More joined the Carthusian monks' in their spiritual exercises. More reached a critical crossroads in his career: Would he pursue a strictly religious life, or remain a layman dedicated to the law and politics? He chose the latter, standing for election to Parliament in 1504 and marrying the following year. The fact that he didn’t choose to pursue a career as both cleric and statesman, like his mentor Morton and Morton’s successor, Cardinal Wolsey says something about the man’s character. It reminds me of the scene between the Cardinal and Sir Thomas in “A Man for All Seasons. More refuses to support Wolsey’s efforts to secure the king’s divorce because he disapproves of Wolsey’s method of coercing the church in England by threatening to confiscate its wealth.
Cardinal Wolsey: More! You should have been a cleric!
More: Like yourself, Your Grace?
More rebukes the cardinal with sarcasm, implying that “A man cannot serve two masters.” More might have temporarily avoided the Church/State conflict by remaining a layman, but ultimately when tested, he couldn’t avoid the conflict between his duty to his sovereign and state and his own conscience. In doing so, he exchanged a life of material wealth and power for martyrdom and sainthood.
From the time he was admitted to the Bar and entered parliament, More’s rise was to power was steady and swift. He became a trusted adviser to the young King Henry VIII. While acting as the king’s envoy in Flanders he drafted his description in Latin of the imaginary island Utopia, which was completed and published in 1516.
During the course of the next thirteen years More continued to climb the ladder of temporal success until, upon the fall of Cardinal Wolsey, he accepted the position of lord chancellor, the first layman to hold that office. Three years later, unable to support the king in the matter of Henry’s divorce from Queen Catherine, he resigned his office. He remained silent on the subject of the divorce and the king’s new title as head of the Church of England, believing the legal maxim, Qui tacet consentiret (silence gives consent) would defend him from a charge of treason. But in the end, More’s silence put him in direct conflict with the king, and that sealed his fate.
UTOPIA: Libellus vere aureus, nec minus salutaris quam festivus, de optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia. This translates, "A truly golden little book, no less beneficial than entertaining, of a republic's best state and of the new island Utopia". The original draft title was wryly humorous. This was shortened to the less cheeky, De optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia: "Of a republic's best state and of the new island Utopia".
Utopia means nowhere, and its founder Utopos is literally “nobody.”
Frame Narrative
In Book One, More is on a real-life mission to Flanders to resolve a dispute between Henry VIII and the Prince of Castile. While in Antwerp, More encounters his friend, the Humanist Peter Giles (aka Pieter Gillis aka Petrus Aegidius) who introduces More to the fictitious Portuguese seaman and explorer, Raphael Hytholoday. Giles vouches for Hytholoday (the name literally means speaker of nonsense) as more than just a traveler; he’s well-read and a good and wise man.
Can this good and wise man effectively serve a European prince? Raphael “The Speaker of Nonsense” doesn’t think so. The set-up allows More to initiate a discussion about contemporary problems such as the tendency of monarchs to start wars and to waste money on conquest and courtly splendor. He also argues against the death penalty to punish theft, saying the thieves might as well murder their victims to remove witnesses since the punishment for theft and murder is the same. There follows a discussion about the socio-economic causes of theft that set the stage for Hytholoday’s Utopian narrative suggesting that waste, greed and an unequal distribution of wealth and property are the root causes of crime. The proposed solution is a form of communism.
In this section More was careful to include a reference, in his own voice, to his mentor Cardinal Morton who ably served both Church and State, implying that a good and wise man, like More himself, could hold such a position under a Tudor monarchy.
Book Two: Hytholoday’s Utopia
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon.” New Testament
The above quote forms a red thread woven into the fabric of Hytholoday’s narrative, and More uses that Biblically inspired theme to critique greed and corruption in both the Church and State. But he uses a cautious indirect attack by putting the criticism in the mouth of his “speaker of nonsense” and addressing his arguments in Latin for a limited audience of Renaissance scholars.
The Utopian socio-economic system covers a number of topics that were controversial in More’s time and some remain so to this day. To discuss each and every one of them requires at the very least a well-resourced essay, and perhaps a book as long or longer than “Utopia” itself; such a discussion extends far beyond the scope of this GR review.
More left the discussion open-ended. At the end of Hytholoday’s narrative, More provides a “disclaimer”, indicating that while there were some good, or at least interesting policies in the Utopian system, there was also much that he found absurd. These matters include government, national defense, trade and foreign relations, education, work and leisure, economics, slavery, laws both civil and criminal, marriage & divorce, healthcare (including euthanasia/assisted suicide for the terminally ill), and religion, with an argument for tolerance.
I’ll limit my observations to Utopia’s government, economics and religion with some reference to related matters.
Utopia’s government: More designed a complex form of republic grounded in the family and extended families. The extended families might be compared to the Tribes of the ancient Roman Republic that elected their senators and tribunes. In Utopia, groups of thirty families elect magistrates to govern them. A larger group nominates four candidates for election as Prince, and the magistrates choose the Prince from that list.
Utopian Economy: The economy could be described as “Christian Communism” See Acts 4:32-35, "Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. ... 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35 They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need."
The Utopians are pagans but, according to Hytholoday, the best among them are amenable to Christian conversion. More takes some time sketching out a complex system for the island, including a means of foreign trade, that works without private property and money. However, this system is a “thought experiment” for scholarly debate that allows More, hidden behind the persona of his “speaker of nonsense”, to criticize the socio-economic conditions of his time. “I can have no other notion of all the other governments that I see or know than that they are a conspiracy of the rich, who on pretense of managing the public only pursue their private ends, and devise all the ways and arts they can find out: first, that they may without danger preserve all that they have so ill acquired, and then that they may engage the poor to toil and labor for them at as low rates as possible, and oppress them as much as they please."
At the end of the long narrative, More provides the following disclaimer:
“When Raphael had thus made an end of speaking, though many things occurred to me, both concerning the manners and laws of that people, that seemed very absurd, as well in their way of making war, as in their notions of religion and divine matters—together with several other particulars, but chiefly what seemed the foundation of all the rest, their living in common, without the use of money…” (emphasis added)
More ends by saying that Raphael was tired and therefore, out of consideration, More did not press the narrator with a dispute over the seeming absurdities of the Utopian narrative. However, More does say he looks forward to a future discussion, which leads him to close as follows: “In the meanwhile, though it must be confessed that he is both a very learned man and a person who has obtained a great knowledge of the world, I cannot perfectly agree to everything he has related. However, there are many things in the commonwealth of Utopia that I rather wish, than hope, to see followed in our governments.” (emphasis added)
Conclusion: Wish rather than hope. The inconsistencies that bothered me fifty years ago remain unresolved, but at least I’ve gained some insight into the seeming contradictions. Hytholoday, the “Speaker of Nonsense” argues for his own peculiar brand of Utopian Socialism like a character in one of Plato’s Dialogues. More, a rising star as both scholar and statesman, plays Socrates. He uses the narrative to critique his own society by offering a radical alternative, and then equivocates by stating that while many of the manners and customs of Utopia “seemed absurd”, and therefore impractical, there were “many things” that “he wished rather than hoped” would be followed by the European governments of his day. But he doesn’t specifically state what it was that he “wished rather than hoped” for.
The Utopian way of life is in marked contrast to the experience of the peoples of Tudor England and the several European states, not to mention the way almost everyone lives today. The greatest absurdity is to think that people in a modern society could be “happy” under the constraints of strict conformity; to wear the same plain clothes; to eat the same plain “healthy” foods; to live in the same houses, and so forth. Most people are competitive; they have some ambition to get ahead in life; they respond to material incentives. More was no different. From the time he was a page to Cardinal Morton, he worked diligently to advance himself. As he climbed the ladder of success, he didn’t object to having “Sir” in front of his name; he didn’t refuse the office of “Lord Chancellor” when it was offered, and before he had his falling out with the king, he and his family lived lives of privilege, ease and comfort compared to the vast majority of the people of England, or of any other nation on earth at that time. But that doesn’t necessarily make him a hypocrite; it makes him human.
In "A Man for All Seasons," Richard Rich, a former friend, now Sir Richard, Attorney General for Wales and dressed splendidly to display his newly achieved status, gives perjured testimony that sends More to the block.
More looks at Rich’s badge of office and sadly remarks: “It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world ... but for Wales?”
More is a saint. For those who share his faith, he’s eternally happy in a much better place than either this world or the imaginary Utopia. Rich became Lord Chancellor of England, a wealthy baron with a large family, who died peacefully in his bed. Where is he now?
Profile Image for Mahdy.
3 reviews
September 19, 2007
Thomas More is traveling in the Low Countries when he sees his friend, Peter Giles. Giles introduces him to a well-traveled friend of his, Raphael Hythloday.

Raphael speaks of many countries and their policies and laws, and freely criticizes the laws of their own countries.He then begins speaking of a country, Utopia, which he thinks is ruled very well and is a perfect country.

More begs Raphael to speak more of Utopia, and he does. He first tells of their towns, which are all as identical as possible, and have a maximum of 6,000 families. He then speaks of their magistrates, who are called Philarchs, and are chosen every year by thirty families. An Archphilarch overlooks every ten Philarchs. The Utopians' manner of life is unusual, as gold is of no value, and everything is therefore free.

Also, they spend their lives in the city and in the suburbs, living in each place for two years at a time. Laws dictate that they are not to travel without a 'passport', which can only be obtained from the Prince and states where and for how long they are allowed to travel.

Slaves and marriages are spoken of next. Prisoners of war are not taken as slaves, unless they fought in the battles; women are not to be married before eighteen, and men before twenty-two. Sexual encounters before marriage are prohibited, as are polygamy and adultery. There are no lawyers in Utopia, as everybody defends himself or herself in court.

Their military discipline is such that everyone trains for the army on a daily basis, however, the Utopians prefer to hire armies rather than to let their own people go to war, and as money does not matter much to them they can do this without much discomfort. Women are encouraged to join their husbands at war.

Religion is the last topic that is spoken of, and there are many religions in Utopia, as people are free to practice whatever they believe. However, the law states that they must all believe in one Divine Being and that they are forbidden to believe that the human's soul dies with his body. Raphael speaks of the way the country and the people deal with the issues and problems associated with each of these topics, and how we could learn from them and their wisdom.

Profile Image for Mahnam.
Author 19 books262 followers
October 17, 2018
تامس مور در آرمانشهر ميكوشد جامعه اي ايده آل را تصوير كند كه خود خوب ميداند به وجود آمدن چنين جمعي شدني نيست براي همين با بازي با كلمات و ساختن يوتوپيا كه همان هيچ آباد يا ناكجا آباد است، به برخي معضلات هميشگي جوامع اشاره ميكند و به اين نتيجه ميرسد كه شكل كنوني جامعه و دولت و حكومت و همه چيز اصلاح پذير نيست چرا كه يگانه چاره واقعي نجات بشر از بين رفتن سيستم مالي است. ايده يوتوپياي مور اگرچه خام و غيركاربردي، به باور بسياري در نهايت به شكلگيري كمونيسم منجر شده است. فارغ از بعد كاربردي بودن توصيه هاي او، توجه اش به بسياري از امور شايان قدرداني است. او به لزوم رها شدن از سلطه نظام كاري كه همه را به بردگي گرفته است، اعتقاد راسخ داشته است ، به ناكارآمدي مجازات سخت براي مجرمان اشاره كرده است و آسان ميري را براي بيماراني كه علاجي ندارند و دولت و جامعه مرگشان را مجاز شمرده باشند، توصيه كرده است. نظام كلي او اگرچه مردسالارانه است اما در نسبت به زمانه اش بسيار پيشرو به نظر ميرسد و زنان را به آموزش و فعاليت پاياپاي با مردان فرا مي خواند. در مودر آزادي مذهب و اعتقاد هم ميشود گفت كه اگرچه آن را فقط براي خداباوران قبول داشته اما تا حد زيادي به آزادي در اين حوزه اعتقاد داشته است.
اگرچه آرمانشهر مور جايي براي تنوع سلايق و فرديت نميگذارد، ميتوان آن را تلاشي براي جداشدن از نيازها و قدرت طلبي هاي بيهوده بشر دانست كه جز جنگ و رنج و بردگي حاصلي نداشته اند.
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