Utopia


In the work Utopia,which is a product of imagination,More tells us about the flawless system of governing which he establishes.In his writings More reflects the aspirations of a Renaissance man.This both caused him to be considered as the Socrates of Europe and to be executed in the face of his disobedience against the king.Ideas of Humanism and Reformation had found refuge in More’s mind.While carrying such qualities in theory,he was in fact a staunch radical in real life.Although he had to at loggerheads with the Church for his sympathy towards Reformation, he was against Reformation in religion and this prepared the way for his execution.But the excellent masterpiece Utopia clearly laid out these ideas of Renaissance and Reformation.That is why More was a humanist and a Renaissance man and also a Reformist though he opposed against the application of Reformist ideas to the Church.For this reason,we have to dwell upon these movements to see how More sometimes contradicts the period.In fact,there is no way we can differ Renaiisance and Reformation.These movements which arose with the interest in classical works in Italy contradict with the manners of the medieval Catholic Church;Medieval Christianity considered people to be natural sinners,chivalric codes and heroic deeds were in the foreground,there was no hope for salvation because only after death could man attain happiness for which reason body as the source of sins had to be severely punished.Catholic church was immersed in religious bigotry;renaisance and reformation fought to reverse this trend;people were naturally good,war was untowardly,perfection could be reached in an honest social structure,people could reach happiness in this world and there was no actual need to punish the body,there had to be religiouıs liberty.More had these ideas as a Renaissance man;he cared about human and nature.Even though he does not act like that in real life,Utopia displays him like a genuine Reformist and he is amongst those humanist writers who are displeased with the corruptions of the church.But,he was against reformation in that he saw the papacy as a uniting power and thought that its fraction would cause instability.In his speeches wiyh Hytholoday,he shows himself supporting unity in religion.In the period,the belief that drastic changes had to be made in the church was growing strong.Reformation movement also was strengthened in England by the divorce of Henry VIII and his proclaiming himself to be the head of the English church.More was executed for opposing to accept the king as the head of the church.Thomas More,despite his inconsistent manners in real life,criticises his own society in a srtict manner.And his spokesman is the captain Raphael who traveled with Vespuci.He tells us about Utopia and the things which he tells us are the opposite of what was taking place in the 16th century.In this context,we can say that More criticises his own society in terms of religion,socisl life,law,education and economy.


Middle Ages saw social and economic progress in waging wars;the kings thought about nothing else but capturing new lands.They considered it fit to povertise the society for their own intersets.Governors were on the whole were corrupted and there was the belief that the king was the representative of God and that he had the right to do whatever he liked.They always looked to the past and never thought about future itself.This radical stance of the kings and the rulers caused the public to be oppressed and povertised both economically and socially.In the first book he gives voice to these corruptions through Raphael;


“to start with, most kings are most interested in the science of war –which I dont know anything about, and dont want to- than in useful peacetime techniques. They’re far more anxious, by hook or by crook, to acquire new kingdoms than to govern their existing ones properly. Besides, privy councillors are either too wise to need, or too conceited to take advise from anyone else –though of course they’re always prepared to suck up to the king’s special favourites by agreeing with the the silliest things they say.”


And


“suppose, in such company, you suggest a policy that you have seen adopted elsewhere, or for which you can quote a historical precedent, what will happen? They will behave as though their professional reputations were at stake, and they’d look fools for the rest of their lives if they