The Characters Thomas More and Raphael Hythloday in Utopia by Thomas More

First, the author Thomas More does not share the character‘s view about Utopian life in spite of the fact that they share almost everything, Actually, he shapes the character More a distrustful man. In character More’s first letter to Giles, he said: “I would rather say something inaccurate than tell a lie, because I would rather be honest than clever,” (5) However, the character More seems to keep lying in the whole book in spite of the fact that he is knowledgeable In Book I, Hythloday says: “But now they have such confidence in the compass that they scorn the winter weather and are careless rather than secure; thus there is a danger that the device which they thought would do them so much good will do them great harm because of their imprudence.

” (14) In this book, the character Thomas More is the main character like a compass which guides readers to understand the texts. At the same time, he is not a reliable.

For instance, as the undersheriff of London, Thomas More, who is well- educated and speaks Greek, did not realize that l-lythloday was a strange name derived from Greek meaning “peddler of nonsense”, not to mention the more obvious one Utopia. Also, supposing he knew the actual meaning, he was not suspicious throughout the discourse, Regardless of the probable truth that Hythloday is an intelligent man with his own insightful comments on society, the character More even did not ask a question about the strange names, That is so unreasonable that it makes More himself doubtful, To hide this flaw, after Book II, the character writes another letter and says: “Thus even if I had done nothing more than assign to the ruler, river, city, and island such names as would have informed learned readers that the island is nowhere, the city is a phantom, the river has no water, the ruler no people 7 which would not have been hard to do and would have been much more elegant that what I actually did, for if I had not been forced by historical accuracy” (138) It is another clue that the character.

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More is distrustful because the author lists all the things with skeptical name in detail and emphasizes the “ruler”, “river”, “city“ and “island” twice to indicate the names definitely worth noticing. Compared to the character Thomas More, the author shares Hythloday‘s idea although he also seems unreliablel In Book I, Hythloday’s critique on private property and advocacy of common life are well-presented thoroughly while the refutation by the character More and Peter Giles sounds short-sighted and plain For instance, after I—Iythloday presents his idea, the character More says: “Especially when the magistrates no longer have any respect or authority, for I cannot conceive how they could have any among people who are all placed on one level,” (48) As mentioned above, the character More is working for the government and that’s the reason why he thinks the private property is the base of the society 7 he (or the king/upper class) cannot lose the power and so does the government of England. He emphasizes this opposite opinion again in Book II and says: “That one fact entirely undermines all nobility, magnificence, splendor, and majesty, which are (in the popular view) the true adornments and ornaments of a commonwealth”

The phrase “in the popular view” points out that the absurdity the character More‘s finds in Utopia society also represents a general attitude towards common property However, at the end, the character More says: “I readily confess that in the Utopian commonwealth are very many features which in our societies I would wish rather than expect to see.” (135) Though he does not say it clearly, common property is the core feature the author More would like to achieve in the society. It is because of his job as a civil servant who works for government, the character More has to sustain his authority at the perspective of governor in general world so the author can only indicate the features in a blurred way, What is more, the character More says: ”… especially since I remembered that he had reproached some persons precisely because they thought they would not be considered wise unless they could find some way of picking apart the ideas of others…”

Linked it to the unnamed lawyer and the character More himself who oppose Hythloday‘s ideas bravely in Book I, that seems more like an excuse that helps him avoid arguing on private property versus common property. Finally, Utopia is definitely advocating the Utopian way of life, or why does the author bother to spend a year writing the book and building such a complete structure of society? Like Socrates in Plato‘s Republic, the author More also seek opportunities to show people how his ideal society is So, he creates Hythloday to speak for him Furthermore, the essence of Utopia 7 common property is the concept that the author would like to promote. In other word, the author intends to provide another possible form of society with the core of common property instead of private property, Even though there are many unreasonable details in the description of Utopia society, Hythloday, who shares the author’s idea, holds the view that Utopian people are the happiest citizens and best governed.

As Hythloday says, “u. wherever there is private property, where everything is measured in terms of money, it is hardly ever possible for the common good to be served with justices and prosperity, unless you think justice is served when all the best things go to the worst people or that happiness is possible when everything is shared among very few, who themselves are not entirely happy, while the rest are plunged into miseryi” (46) The author shares the idea that private property is the origin of social problems, so the foundation of his ideal society is commonwealth, which can bring happiness and equality in his imagination All in all, common property is the concept that the author would like to convey through Hythloday.

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The Characters Thomas More and Raphael Hythloday in Utopia by Thomas More. (2022, Nov 12). Retrieved from

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