A Comparison Of Thomas More's Utopia, And The Symposium By Plato

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Utopia by Thomas More, and The Symposium by Plato are similar in that they both challenge pre-existing notions in society. The two stories prompt readers to reconsider certain aspects of life which one might have found to be quite one-sided. Thomas More introduces us to an island called Utopia which serves as a model of perfection in each facet of everyday life. In The Symposium, Plato and his friends contribute distinctive interpretations on the origin and meaning of love. Both author’s purpose in their writings was to confront ideas in which society has a rather common shared perception of.

In Utopia, More is introduced to an experienced world traveller named Hythloday. Hythloday claims to have visited the island of Utopia, which
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Beginning with agriculture, which is an important resource not only for good health, but economically as well. The Utopian agricultural sector is assumed to be extremely efficient and productive, this is proven as “They export the surpluses to their neighbors” (More, p. 93). Additionally, the mass participation in the country and on the farms benefit Utopia as well, as all town residents take turns working on the fields. Furthermore, Europe, along with many other Western societies, base their economy on capitalism. Capitalism is an economic system in which earning capital is prioritized and property is privately-owned in order to maximize a profit for those specific owners. Utopia however, contends with the idea of capitalism as it emphasizes equality and shared profits for all. More reiterates this by stating that “…there is only one way to attain general well-being, and this is equality in the distribution of goods. I doubt if such equality can ever be achieved where there is private property” (More, p. 86). By discussing the lack of private property rights in Utopia, the author is critiquing the present-day European society/economy by advertising the successes and perfection of Utopian society which lacks private property rights. In the Symposium by Plato, the idea of love is being challenged through the contrasting outlooks of love, which are given by Socrates and his friends. As the friends each share

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