The late 15th and early 16th century England also witnessed the formative years of Renaissance which was an era that experienced the rediscovery of the classical art and culture, reason and knowledge. As a humanist, Sir Thomas More deeply assimilated the rationale of the classical scholars and denounced the corrupted political, social and religious framework of England. Accordingly, he voiced his opinion in his seminal work Utopia, published shortly before the outbreak of Reformation. This book, developed in the line of Socreatean dialectics, reflects upon a hypothetical country-state and systematically analyses the viability of the established conventions. Utopia was established as the metaphorical standard for the then lawless and corrupted England (Baker, 1999)
The book Utopia was published in the year 1516. In the book, a traveler named Raphael has described Utopia; a country conjured in his imagination, to Pieter and More (Smith, 2006, p. 189). From this book, Sir More has tried to bring about certain changes in the European society by showcasing the metaphorical example Utopia as an ideal country. For example, equal opportunities should be given to women and men to receive an education (Smith, 2006, p. 193). People should not be the owner of lands and the atheists should be welcomed in the society (More, 2017, p 14). In Sir Thomas More’s opinion, people who don’t believe the God are not trustworthy. There is a humanist approach in the book by relating the humanity as per the God’s instruction (Baker-Smith, 2000, p. 61) and he decidedly wrote the book has as a work of satire against the religious and political corruption of England.
However, the major portion of the book portrayed the political thoughts that were relevant in the sixteenth century of the Europe as well as the Renaissance era (Brotton, 2006, p. 5). The book is considered as a vehicle that explores several things like the role of the kings, ownership of the private property and discrimination in the right to education etc. (Andrewes, 2017, p.75). Sir Thomas More wrote this book before the outbreak of Reformation (Baker-Smith, 2000, p. 67). The motivation of Sir Thomas More behind Utopia is due to the negative side of the Renaissance era. In the Renaissance period, the poor families are not allowed to educate their children at schools. More specifically, the rich boys are only allowed in the schools. It is the period when the level of corruption and stresses were very high. This is one of the reasons which influenced Sir Thomas More to create a society in the name of Utopia. A clear analysis can be drawn from the content of the book that he has created an alternative which is more ideal and have humanist approach.
The book is divided into two parts. The first one is more about discussions and the second one is mostly related to the laws and customs of the Utopians. The debate has been initiated in the first section of the book where More questioned about the advisory system of the Kings. The second interrogation is even stronger where Sir More questioned the prevailing customs of punishments for thefts as the punishment imposed during the King’s era of England was too violent. Hythloday was another character in the book who claimed that the abolishment of the private property should be considered and that the punishment should be even stronger and severe (More, p. 10). The second part begins with the Utopian Government that focuses on the social harmony and the administrative policies, which encourages societal well-being. The structured policies of the Utopian Government determine an ideal administrative landscape that would be implemented in Europe (More, Bacon and Nevile, 2008, pp 49) an important reason why he wrote this book.