Course Hero. "Utopia Study Guide." Course Hero. 9 May 2018. Web. 13 Dec. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Utopia/>.
Course Hero. (2018, May 9). Utopia Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Utopia/
(Course Hero, 2018)
Course Hero. "Utopia Study Guide." May 9, 2018. Accessed December 13, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Utopia/.
Course Hero, "Utopia Study Guide," May 9, 2018, accessed December 13, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Utopia/.
Utopia is a work of political and social satire written in three sections. Its author never describes a particular purpose in writing Utopia. However, scholars agree it is a combination of social satire and genuine philosophical thinking. It can sometimes be hard to know where More is being facetious and where he is arguing for social or political change.
Before the beginning of Utopia, More provides a number of made up but intriguing items. These include poems and an alphabet in the "Utopian language," maps of Utopia, and letters that supposedly verify the existence of Utopia.
Book One, which is much shorter than Book Two, describes a trip that More takes to Flanders (modern-day Belgium). There he meets up with his (real life) friend Peter Giles and the fictional character of Raphael Hythloday. The fictional Hythloday, it turns out, has traveled with the (real life) Amerigo Vespucci to the New World (the Americas). From there Hythloday went off on his own to discover the fictional island of Utopia.
Much of Book One is made up of sociopolitical debate among More, Hythloday, and Giles. Hythloday describes a discussion he had with a variety of real and made-up men at a dinner party hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. At the end of Book One, Hythloday offers to tell the gathered group about the amazing culture and politics of Utopia.
Book Two consists of an in-depth description of the physical, social, and cultural aspects of Utopia as described by Hythloday. By the end of Book Two, the reader has a well-rounded vision of what it would be like to live in the fictional Utopia. The chapters include:
By the time Hythloday has told his entire story he is exhausted. More, thinking deeply about what he has heard, takes Hythloday to dinner.