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Utopia

by Sir Thomas More
by

Constantin Ehret

on 19 November 2015

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Transcript of Utopia

never bought
people captured in battle
people who have committed a horrible crime
children of slaves are not born into slavery
Slaves work constantly, and are always chained.
Society
Thank you!
Early years of
„Protestant Reformation“
Utopia - Definition
word utopia comes from Thomas More’s novel Utopia (1516)
derived from Greek roots: could be translated to mean either “good place” or “no place”
utopian societies were written long before More’s novel
societies described are meant to represent the perfect society
utopias are created to satirize existing societies
or to speculate about what life might be like under different conditions
For example the biblical Garden of Eden in Genesis and Plato's Republic, about a perfect state ruled by philosopher-kings

Utopia
by Sir Thomas More
War
hate war and try to avoid it at all costs
find no glory in the practice of killing
engage in warfare only to protect themselves, their friends, or to free oppressed peoples
Thomas More - Biography
6 July 1535
execution for treason
worked for the Archbishop of Canterbury, John Morton
studied at Oxford, qualified as lawyer
Political career
1525

chancellor of Duchy of Lancaster →
born 7 February 1478, London
father: successful lawyer
1510 - 1518
one of the two undersheriffs
1517
entered the king’s service
became one of Henry VIII’s most effective and trusted right-hand man
1521
received knighthood
1523

speaker of House of Commons
Education
Thomas More & his century
Philosophical & religious career
1520's
began to work as a scholar & wrote critics about Martin Luther and the protestant reformation
around 1515
„The History of Richard III“
1516
Utopia
defender of Catholic orthodoxy
resigned chancellorship when Henry VIII made himself the „supreme head of the Church in England“

arrested in 1534 after refusing to swear an oath against the pope and pro Henry VIII and his divorce; argued against king’s divorce
Geography
200 miles wide
curved form, like a moon
500 miles in circumference
originally a peninsula
54 cities, each one divided in equal parts
captial city: Amaurot
Form of Government
30 households grouped together, elect a phylarch ruling over them
every ten phylarches operate under a tranibore
200 phylarches of a city elect a mayor in a secret ballot
mayor stays for life unless he is deposed or removed for suspicion of tyranny
no person may discuss issues of state outside of the committee
confer for a long time before they come to a decision
everything belongs to everyone no poor
ideal satisfaction of human needs
each city: 6000 households, consisting 10 - 16 adults
population in total: about 4.5 mio.
Tumultuous era
Martin Luther
general
no lawyers and simple law
privacy ≠ freedom
no private property
organization of households
people redistributed around households and towns every ten years
in case of overpopulation: colonies are set up on the mainland
in case of underpopulation: colonies are brought back from the mainland
every household has two slaves
education, work & agriculture
agriculture most important job
everyone taught it & needs to farm for two years
everyone needs to learn one of the essential trades
six-hour-work-day
all people wearing the same clothes
to become ruling official or priests people scholar education is allowed
other citizens encouraged to learn sth. in their leisure time
wealth
gold used to fetter criminals or for shameful things
jewels worn by children - gift for birth
wealth: little importance - cause of fights
religion
several religions: moon-worshipers, sun-worshipers, planet-worshipers, ancestor-worshipers, monotheists
tolerant each other
atheists despised but allowed in Utopia, represent danger to state
role of husband and wife
treated equally, but wives are supposed to keep house
only few women become priests
women confess their sins to their husbands once a month
1529

post of lord chancellor
1530s

Religious change:
Anglican Church becomes official religion of England
Politics dominated by religious conflicts
First exploratory expeditions of Spain and Portugal
‚Great Plague‘
population
Thomas More -
Utopia
Tommaso Campanellae -
La città del Sole
Jonathan Swift -
Gulliver‘s Travels
H.G. Wells -
The Time Machine
Aldous Huxley -
Brave New World
George Orwell -
1984
Thomas Pynchon -
Gravity‘s Rainbow
1516
1623
1726
1895
1932
1949
1973
Timeline - Utopias and Dystopias
Interpretation
criticism of the political abuses under the control of Henry the VIII.
well-ordered state described in Utopia with the injustice in England at the time of Thomas more
Famine had become less common in England but lives had not become easier
renaissance = age of individuality but:
Egoism works against community

Slaves
Utopia
Dystopia
Illness
receive tremendous care
burden to both others and themselves -> should put their hope in the afterlife and choose to let themselves die
agree: are let from life during sleep, without pain.
do not agree: treated as kindly as before
Marriage
Have to reach a special age if they want to marry
No premarital sex is allowed
If anyone is caught they are forbidden to marry for life
Divorce only conditionally allowed
Utopia
vs
Dystopia
place that is ideally perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and conditions
Problems like diseases, proverty, oppression, descremination or in equality do not excist

Charactaristics:
Peaceful government
Acceess to education, lealthcare, employment
A save environment
social harmony, perfect equality, accomplished peace
total satisfaction of human requirements



Oppressive societal control
Through an exaggerated worst-case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system

Characteristics:
Propaganda is used to control
Oppressive or no government
poverty for everyone or a huge gab between the rich and the poor
Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted
A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of the society
Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance, have a fear of the outside world and live in a dehumanized world
Individuality and dissent are bad.
Similarities between BNW and Utopia
ideal state: everything is done for the good of humanity
based on a sense of community equality
purely fictitious
Community, Identity, Stability =
motto of the World State in BNW
Utopia's prime goals
Community: result of identity and stability
religion that satirizes Christianity & encourages people to reach solidarity
organizing life person is almost never alone
society can achieve stability only when everyone is happy
try to ensure that every person is happy
eliminate any painful emotion (every deep feeling/passion)

Any questions?
by Salome Breidenbach & Constantin Ehret
Full transcript