Thomas More – Utopia

Thomas More’s book Utopia written in 1516 has an ideal civilization that makes people live happily and comfortable without any challenges. As compared to the prince written by Niccolo Machiavelli, it shows how a prince was meant to be born for maintaining the empire. When both books are compared, they both critique about solving the problems within the society by creating their own solutions. Also, both articles are concerned how the community maintains and works itself but differ considerably. For instance, Utopia’s goal is to illustrate the maintenance of an ideal society. This essay will demonstrate more how Utopia is concerned with politics and virtue.

Just to be fair and honorable, leadership is a primary concern especially when the culture is viable. This shows that the leader must be good by putting his people first. But if it is an evil leader, he lets the people suffer and starve. Utopia has a democratic government because it sets the household by electing those who qualify. In Utopia, as explained by Moore, they are more concerned about politics and virtue and how stability is provided to the societies (More 13). They do this with the traitors and syphogrants who change the balance of the constant figurehead annually.

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Every year, a group of thirty households usually vote for one official known as the syphogrant. Each team, in this case, must have ‘ten syphogrants’ who also have another official known as the ‘tranibor,’(More 24) Once the syphogrants have reached to 200 in number, they gather to elect a prince. Politics, as seen in Utopia, shows that every member of the society must agree with the kind of leadership chosen. This means that virtue is practiced in a way that a protocol has to be formed to elect their prince. The syphogrants then take an oath according to the person they select. Through a secret ballot, they choose their prince who must be among fours nominated members. Utopia, in this case, is described as a perfect world because they have a different mentality when it comes to choosing an individual occupation (More 32). Thomas More focuses more on the needs of the society through religious and idealistic attitudes towards politics. Therefore the primary focus of Utopia to promote a better renaissance society.

The other purpose of Utopia is to illustrate how to maintain the ideal where power is treated as something everyone in the society should be empowered. Utopia is also a fantasy to show alternative ways of people’s life. The virtue of this narration indicates that it focuses less on what the prince does but the action of the people. One may confuse and declare that individuals are empowered, but it’s the society which carries the mandate. When it comes to defining the human nature, Thomas More attempts to change man’s thinking by “forming an ideal society,” (More 42). Human nature according to Thomas has more positives than negatives. In other words, he demonstrated that the awareness of the human flaws could not be compared to the attributes of the environmental, social-economic and political factors. In other words, he meant that if the political, social and environmental factors have changed, then the human nature will improve.


Utopia, as illustrated in the essay, shows a type of system that values more on the people than the government. As evidence, Thomas elaborates it by explaining how people have to come together to select their king. In connection to this, the book also shows that when the environmental, political and social factors are not ok, then the human nature is as well affected.


Work Cited

More, Thomas. Utopia. Raleigh, N.C.: Alex Catalogue, 2003. Print. 12-54.