(THOMAS MORE'S UTOPIA: MEDIEVAL HUMANISM)
Literature and art are some of the tools that artists and authors have used, for a long time, to describe the societal aspects and settings, and in such cases; literature has been used as a tool to store historical information concerning the society. In this case, for example, famous authors from the middle age era have been a major source of historical information, concerning the middle and the early age eras. Some of these famous authors include Thomas Moore, and his book Utopia, which was published in 1516. This is one of the late middle ages’ pieces of literature whose popularity remains high to date, especially in the field of political philosophy.
This is due to the fact that by analyzing the societal organization from a social, political and even economical perspective, the novel has been of much medieval humanistic relevance in comparison to the development that has been taking place in the same fields (political, social, environmental and economic) in the society today. Comparison of the similarities and contrast between Utopia (the fictional place) and the modern day society plays a major role in ascertaining the differences between the middle and late early ages and the society today.
This is due to the fact that these fictional works were based on the social, political and economic organization during the eras in which the novels were written, and this is what the author, Thomas Moore, did in writing this novel, Utopia. In it necessary to note that Mr. Moore has discussed various aspects that he recollected, from his interaction with various personalities in Utopia, such as the town clerk and the town counselor (Moore, 2000, p. 22), and has incorporated the same into a fictional work, making the novel semi-fictional.
Art, on the other hand, is yet another essential area to look at, since it is one of the areas that were well developed and advanced. This is even evident through Utopia, the literature work by Thomas Moore. Art and theatre are some of the aspects that the society throughout Europe highly regarded, mainly as a source of communication, as well as educating the society. At the same time, art and theatre was highly regarded, as a source of entertainment. However, different regions had different forms of entertainment, and as a result, art and theater was differently regarded in different societies across the entire Europe. At the same time as it has been seen in both sides of the different societies differently regarded art, and Utopia is one of the states that highly regarded written literature as a form of art, entertainment and education (Moore, 2000, p. 87).
It is also necessary to look at the organization of Utopia from an economic trends perspective. From the novel, Thomas Moore paints the picture of a society that was involved in much trading activities, especially, bearing in mind that most of the products were imported and exported through ships. At the same time, the medieval era recorded high levels of slave trade in the European region, whereby the incoming slaves (who came by ship) were involved in plantation working in the countryside, as well as working as house servants for the royal leaders, as well as other key leaders, such as the city clerk. At the same time, the novel highly focuses on the four voyages of 1507, whereby sailing and sea trading was highly regarded as key trade.
Raphael also focused on the intellectual trends, and in this case, he focused on the relationships that were established between different people in the society, particularly, the civilians and their leaders. For example, due to lack of effective leadership strategies, some of the applied strategies that the kings used in addressing and dealing with offenders were highly disregarded. An example of these includes murdering and killing witnesses, to prevent them from witnessing in courts of law. Secondly, Thomas, through Raphael Hythlody the main character in the novel, addresses the issue of poor leadership and governance, which led to the starting of war in the society, which led to bleeding and mass killing of civilians, as well as soldiers (Moore, 2000, p. 44).
In conclusion, from the analysis of this novel, it is evident that Utopia went through challenges that that are still persistent in the world today, and which have escalated to higher levels. From his humanistic and philosophical approach in analyzing the region of Utopia through traveller Raphael Hythlody, humanists can relate the current social, political and economic challenges that took place in Utopia during the medieval era and the modern day challenges, to one common outlook and similarity.
Moore, T. (2000). Utopia. New York: Penguin Books.