Reform in Thomas More's Utopia Essay

Reform in Thomas More's Utopia Essay

Length: 1516 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Thomas More’s Utopia, Raphael Hythloday proposes reform to capital punishment such that capital punishment is for murder but not theft. The author critiques the proposal through the use of other characters symbolic of distinct perspectives to debate against his reform. Thomas More’s Utopia presents a reform through Raphael Hythloday, theft will not be given the death penalty, to the English judicial system. Hythloday mentions his proposal to a lawyer, the character More, Peter Giles, and Cardinal Morton. The main purpose of these characters is to criticize from certain perspectives against his idea. However, there is an opposite effect in which the criticism creates reinforcement for Raphael’s reform.
To begin with, Thomas More’s Utopia was published in 1516 before the reformation began but still during the renaissance. The renaissance was the rebirth of the classics. Part of this came the renewal of rhetoric and Humanism, a way of thought that “placed great emphasis on the dignity of man and upon the expanded possibilities of human life in this world” (Brooklyn College).The importance being that Thomas More was a humanist and the character that portrays him is exceptionally skilled in rhetoric.
The first discussion chronologically to occur is the debate Raphael has with the lawyer. The lawyer is meant to represent the perspective of rationality. The lawyer makes critical reasons against Raphael’s idea witch Raphael is able to dismiss. First is the lawyer says that thievery should not be a necessity because the thief can always learn a craft to earn his livelihood: “there are many handicrafts, and there is husbandry, by which they may make a shift to live unless they have a greater mind to follow ill courses”. Basically, the l...


... middle of paper ...


... Raphael could be providing an honest reform to how justice is served or can be a satirical solution to only show the use of rhetoric. Truly there is strong use of rhetoric by the author in supporting the idea in stopping the killing of those convicted of stealing for a lesser punishment like forced labor with a chance at freedom again.



Works Cited

Logan, George M., and Robert M. Adams, eds. Utopia. New York: Cambridge, 2003. Web. 8 Feb. 2014.
Logan, George. Utopia and Deliberative Rhetoric. N.p.: thomasmoresstudies, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.
Melani, Lilia. Renaissance. Brooklyn: Brooklyn College, 2009. N. pag. Brooklyn College. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.
Wegemer, Gerard. “The Rhetoric of Opposition in Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’: Giving Form to Competing Philosophies.” Philosophy & Rhetoric. Volume 23, Issue 4 (1990): 286-300. Penn State University Press.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Saint Thomas More : Principles With Utopia Essay

- Saint Thomas More: Principles With In Utopia Utopia (published in 1516) attempts to offer a practical response to the crises of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries by carefully defining an ideal republic. Utopia focuses on politics and social organization in stark detail. The books begin a conversation between Thomas More and Raphael (Hebrew for 'God has healed '). Raphael is a traveler who has seen much of the world yet is impressed by little of it. Even monsters are hardly worthy of concern....   [tags: Utopia, Thomas More, Utopia, Politics]

Term Papers
1278 words (3.7 pages)

Analysis of Thomas More's Utopia Essay

- Analysis of Thomas More's Utopia The historical Thomas More, the author of Utopia, was an extraordinarily complicated man who tied up all the threads of his life in his heroic death. The Utopia is the sort of complicated book that we should expect from so complicated a man. It is heavy with irony, but then irony was the experience of life in the Sixteenth Century. Everywhere--in church, government, society, and even scholarship--profession and practice stood separated by an abyss. The great difficulty of irony is that we cannot always be sure when the ironic writer or speaker is being serious and when he is being comical....   [tags: Thomas More Utopia Literature Essays]

Term Papers
5938 words (17 pages)

Essay on Thomas More's Utopia and His Context

- Utopia is Sir Thomas More’s seminal work, depicting a fictitious island and its religious, social, and political customs. Working as an advisor to King Henry VIII, More was aware of the issues of his time such as ridiculous inflation, corruption, wars for little or no purpose, courtly ostentation, the abuse of power by the absolute monarchs, and the maltreatment of the poor. Consequently, More used Utopia to contrast some unique and refreshing political ideas with the chaotic politics of his own country....   [tags: literary criticism]

Term Papers
3393 words (9.7 pages)

The Renaissance Society Of America Conference Essay

- The Renaissance Society of America conference was an informative and entertaining experience. The conference could also best be described as humbling, and at times I thought I might drown in a sea of (sometimes pretentious) intelligence. At the conference, and specifically at my panel, I did learn quite a lot — both about the subject matter and about scholarship and scholars more generally. I attended a panel titled Text, Context, and More’s Utopia and specifically focused on Emily Ransom’s presentation on Utopian religion....   [tags: Utopia, Thomas More, Protestant Reformation]

Term Papers
726 words (2.1 pages)

Utopia, Dystopia or Anti-Utopia? by Choloe Houston Essay

- In the book Utopia the country of Utopia is a true commonwealth where there is no private property or financial classes. Utopia is a fictional country with a society in which everything is shared equally and there is no want. In Utopia, “Among [the Utopians] virtue has its reward, yet everything is shared equally, and all men live in plenty” (More 1.38).By creating a place that has no money or private property More undermines the institutions of Tudor England by getting at the problem of social injustices having to do with private property (Brayton).Stevenson says, “With radical simplicity the Utopians avoid the ills of Europe: all private property is abolished....   [tags: financial class, taxation, the party]

Term Papers
1705 words (4.9 pages)

Utopia Essay

- Utopia The text Utopia was written by Sir Thomas Moore in 1516, just before the outbreak of the Reformation. More’s life flourished through the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, which were influential years in the Renaissance, a flowering of art and thought that began in Italy and flooded through Europe and England. Humanists often stressed the dignity of man and the power of reason while remaining deeply committed to Christianity. Their thought and writings helped to break the strict religious orthodoxy that had forced itself through the Middle Ages....   [tags: More Philosophy Perfect Society Essays]

Term Papers
1170 words (3.3 pages)

Utopia Essays

- Utopia In the year 1515, a book in Latin text was published which became the most significant and controversial text ever written in the field of political science. Entitled, ‘DE OPTIMO REIPUBLICATE STATU DEQUE NOVA INSULA UTOPIA, clarissimi disertissimique viri THOMAE MORI inclutae civitatis Londinensis civis et Vicecomitis’, translated into English would read, ‘ON THE BEST STATE OF A COMMONWEALTH AND ON THE NEW ISLAND OF UTOPIA, by the Most Distinguished and Eloquent Author THOMAS MORE Citizen and Undersheriff of the Famous City of London.’....   [tags: Utopic Society Social Issues Essays]

Term Papers
4263 words (12.2 pages)

Utopia Essay

- Thomas More’s, Utopia is one of the most politically and socially influential texts to date. His audience, which ranges from academic and social scholars to college students, all can gain a different understanding of the work and it’s meaning. In order to fully comprehend More’s message, one must have an appreciation for the time and culture in which he lived. After grasping historical concepts, one reads Utopia, not as just a volume recounting a fictitious island society, but rather as a critique on a time of corruption and reformation....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Term Papers
1354 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Man's Quest for Utopia

- Man's Quest for Utopia In 1516, Sir Thomas Moore published his Utopia. He wrote of a perfect world, one where optimal common wealth was acheived, and there was a common satisfaction with the system. Though Moore may have coined the owrd "utopia," this was by no means a new concept. Ever since the dawn of time, man has dreamed of a better world.There has always been a desire to make things better, to create a happier and more peaceful existence. Throughout history, various leaders, terrorists, and commoners have strived to create their own perfect world....   [tags: Papers]

Term Papers
855 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on A Deconstruction Reading of Thomas More's Utopia

- A Deconstruction Reading of Thomas More's Utopia Thomas More's Utopia is the bastard child of European conventions and humanist ideals. Inspired by More's belief in the elevation of human manners, education, and morals, the text also concedes to the omnipresent traditions of European society. While More accepts parentage of the text, he distances himself from its radical notions and thinly veiled condemnation of Europe's establishment. Through the use of a benign narrator, Raphael Hythloday, and the assumption of a royalist persona by a character of his own name, More discloses the tale of the island of Utopia and its communist society....   [tags: Thomas More Utopia Essays]

Term Papers
1800 words (5.1 pages)