Daily Archives: May 16, 2011

Sir Thomas More


The trial of More in the 1966 film adaptation of A Man for All Seasons (parts 2 and 3 after the jump)

Sir Thomas More resigned as Lord Chancellor of England on this date in 1532.

Frye relates More’s Utopian outlook to Castiglione’s Courtier:

It is, I think, the latent Utopian tone of Castiglione’s dialogue, its implicit reference to hidden perfection in society itself, that makes it still relevant to us. Among the great educational books of that very fertile period, we have to place Sir Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) in the first rank. In More’s book there is a collision of views between Hythloday, the traveller who has been to Utopia and has returned a convinced Communist, and More himself, who listens to his narration. Hythloday is now a revolutionary who feels that nothing can be done for Europe until private property is abolished and the various principalities replaced with something more like the Utopian republic. More represents himself, in contrast, as feeling rather that Hythloday should use his knowledge of Utopia to act as a counsellor to European princes, trying to inform their policies with something in the Utopian spirit. Castiglione’s courtier has no Utopia to go to, but he has a similar informing vision to communicate. (CW 28, 351)

Continue reading