Utopia: Form as Discipline
I wish in this chapter to return to the discussion of the book’s form, pursuing further the implications of some points I have already made in passing, but concerned primarily with suggesting why the form used by More is particularly well-suited to the intentions of Utopia.
KeywordsRadical Folly Fantasy World Sexual Jealousy Summum Bonum Strategic Involvement
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- 1.Harry Berger discusses Utopia in these terms in his article ‘The Renaissance Imagination: Second World and Green World’, Centennial Review, vol. 9 (1965), pp. 36–78. I do not share his wish to make a double distinction between ‘green world’ (Utopia), ‘second world’ (the actual world as represented within Utopia) and the actual world completely outside the book. The second and third are obviously not the same (More did not meet Hythloday in Antwerp); but More does not exploit the difference (as other writers have), whereas the interplay between the first and the second is central to the meaning of the book.Google Scholar
- 3.R. J. Schoeck, ‘More, Plutarch, and King Agis: Spartan History and the Meaning of Utopia’, Philological Quarterly, vol. 35 (1956), pp. 366–75. ‘I would suggest that the dating of Utopia’s history at precisely 1760 years is an ironic signal that there was once a king who had made so radical a proposal as the redistribution of land and the cancellation of debts, and for this proposal… that Spartan king had been put to death.’Google Scholar
- 4.E. F. Rogers, St Thomas More: Selected Letters (1961), p. 85.Google Scholar
- 6.I quote from the translation by Leonard F. Dean (1946) as reprinted in Essential Works of Erasmus, ed. W. T. H. Jackson (1965), pp. 381–2.Google Scholar