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Comparable Destinations, Different Paths - Essay Example

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Comparable Destinations, Different Paths

The letters also explain why nobody else has been to Utopia. The reason is so ridiculous that it lends believability to the statement--someone had coughed and the exact longitude and latitude had not been heard, but Raphael was being sought to disclose the information. The first book tells of the traveler Raphael Hythlodaeus, to whom More is introduced in Antwerp and also explores the subject of how best to counsel a prince, a popular topic at the time.
Plato doubtless did well foresee, unless kings themselves would apply their minds to the study of philosophy, that else they would never thoroughly allow the council of philosophers, being themselves before, even from their tender age, infected and corrupt with perverse and evil opinions (More 8).
More tries to persuade Raphael that into the lucrative service of royalty, acting as an advisor to kings or lords. Raphael, however, seems to be saying that his views would not be listened to because such men are too corrupt to understand so pure a study as philosophy. Raphael speaks of Plato, of whom he seems to emulate the thoughts and ideals. The above statement screams of Platonic thought, suggesting that kings must be philosophers as well in order to rule fairly and wisely.
More seems to consider it a philosopher's duty to ...
While Raphael has chosen to embrace the idea of starting again, the character More desires to fix things as they are.
"The difference is only a matter of one syllable," Raphael says as a way to illustrate the short distance from service to servitude (More 7). One syllable indeed. This simple sentence may offer a clue that can answer a question of much debate in regards to More's Utopia. The question is, as a reader, can one accept this imaginary society as a realistic blueprint for a working nation On the other hand, should one assume that More had no intention of his book being taken seriously One could arguably maintain either position. More's Utopia most definitely works if viewed as a satire.
By taking into account More's use of these puns, one can deduce that his intention in writing Utopia is to reveal more about the current state of politics in 16th England than it is to offer a model for an ideal society. Support for such an argument can be easily supported by simply looking at the title of the book. The word "Utopia" has two roots. However, depending on which root is chosen, the meaning of the word changes drastically. "Utopia" is a combination of the syllable eu, which can be translated as "good," and the word topos, which means "place." At the same time, if one assumes that the ou prefix is used, which has a negating tone and translates into "no," then suddenly More's "good place" becomes "no place." The difference is only a matter of one syllable.
More's hints at absurdity extend beyond simply the use of pun in the title/name of the island, being found in even his description of the island of Utopia. According to the ...Show more

Summary

More depicts a rationally organized society in his Utopia via a narrative of conversations with the explorer who allegedly discovered it, Raphael Hythlodaeus. In contrast to this, Castiglione Baldesar's The Courtier depicts an ideal individual as a method for the benefit of society as a whole…
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