Essay on Education in Thomas More's "Utopia"

Essay on Education in Thomas More's "Utopia"

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The goal of education is to learn, and in this process of learning and being educated there are some greater goals that are served. Education in Thomas More’s Utopia seems to cater to a larger goal, which is to create virtuous persons and citizens, as they are responsible for attaining a flourishing human community. In Shakespeare’s The Tempest there seems to be an underlying idea of a connection between education and a sense of social control. The idea of instilling among his subjects a sense of obedience and influencing their knowledge through education, in order to bring about a feeling of belonging to a nation is prevalent in The Tempest. On one hand, education serves the purpose of creating citizens of a flourishing society and on the other it serves the purpose of creating the idea of citizenship for people of a preexisting nation.
The play begins with Prospero having a set lesson plan for his island. He also makes sure that the nobles (Alonzo, Sebastian, and Antonio) who were against him will not be forgotten and thus creating a sense of fear and authoritativeness right at the start. Most of The Tempest has to do with the re-education of the central characters by Prospero. Prospero used magic and other liberal art ideas (music, festivities etc) to control the locals of the island. These methods are a part of his larger educational plan. Given these methods, Prospero has a dilemma – a choice between studying liberal arts and effective management. “And Prospero the prime duke, being so reputed/ In dignity, and for the liberal / Without a parallel; those being all my study,/ The government I cast upon my brother,/ And to my state grew stranger, being transported/ And rapt in secret studies.” (I, ii, 72-77) Instead of giving ...


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...teacher is always right and accepting this at the soonest made the students’ life of learning pleasurable or one that was like that of Caliban, learning out of fear and hence being rebellious. Each idea lacks certain aspects and therefore there is no perfect idea, and if there were a perfect idea, according to Plato, it would be education itself. Willingness to learn seems to be the way in which we can move towards the ideal form of education and be filled with Utopian virtue.


Works Cited

Macaulay, T. B. "Minute by the Hon'ble T. B. Macaulay, dated the 2nd February 1835." Selections from Educational Records, Part I (1781-1839) (1920/65): 107-117.
More, Sir Thomas. Utopia. Ed. Robert M. Adams. Trans. Robert M. Adams. 2nd Edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1992.
Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Ed. Stephen Orgel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

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