Thomas More's Utopia and its impact on English society during the Renaissance.

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The "Middle" Ages were followed by the Renaissance, a time in which art and literature flourished. Thomas More, the first English humanist of the Renaissance, was born in London during this period. More's style is simple because of its colloquial language but a deeper look into his irony hints at deep dissatisfaction with the current thought and desire for change. "Utopia" (which in Greek means "nowhere") is the name of More's fictional island of perfected society. Thomas More's "Utopia" was the first literary work in which the ideas of Communism appeared and was highly esteemed by all the humanists of Europe in More's time. More uses the main character, Hythlodaeus, as a fictional front to express his own feelings he may have feared to…show more content…
All Utopians also received a full education, which contradicts the overwhelming percentage of uneducated, illiterate people that existed throughout Europe in the 16th century.

In Utopia there are strict marriage rules and the men and women are not allowed to marry until certain mature ages: men 18; women 22. Most importantly, however, Hythlodaeus points out that divorce is not allowed unless in cases of adultery or extreme abuse. When King Henry VIII was ruling England, Sir Thomas More was the King's Lord Chancellor. At this time the King was fighting with the Pope to get a divorce from his wife. More, a devout catholic, did not approve of the divorce and voiced his opinion discreetly in Utopia's disregard for divorce and more openly later in his life. This eventually, led to his demise when King Henry VIII imprisoned More in the Tower of London and, finally, had him beheaded.

Hythlodaeus goes on to talk about the self defense and the non-imperial nature of Utopian society. Utopians abhor war and attempt to avoid fighting except to protect themselves, their neighbors, or to free oppressed people. This is partly due to the fact that there is communal land in Utopia. Utopians, as completely self sufficient people, have no need to take over neighboring countries. At this time in history, countries not only in Europe, but all over the world were in constant conflict to expand their empires. More

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