Thomas Vs. Moore Essay, Research Paper
Plato’s Republic and Thomas More’s Utopia have a relationship in that they both share an idea. These books both have the concept of an ideal society, although they do this for distinct reasons and they attain contrasted types of perfection. More describes Utopia as “the most civilized nation in the world”. Plato is searching for the perfect soul and justice. These two writers base their ideal states on a belief that humans are capable of personal and, when acting collectively, social improvement.
More’s Utopia is almost completely egalitarian. There are no divisions among the people as in Plato’s Republic. In Utopia, everyone gets “more than enough to produce plenty of everything that’s needed for a comfortable life”. “There’s no such thing as private property”. “The smallest social unit is the household, which is virtually synonymous with the family”. Utopia is a nation in which everyone is educated. “Lunch and supper begin with a piece of improving literature read aloud”. More based his ideal society on the premise that each person is to “cultivate his mind – which they regard as the secret of a happy life”.
In Plato’s Republic, the ideal society contains three classes, the ruling class, the auxiliary class, and the rest of the society as they are compared to gold, silver and bronze. They aren’t said to be of less importance from each other, although they do have their different significance in the society. Plato’s ideal city also includes the abolition of the family. “That our men and women guardians should be forbidden by law to live together in separate households, and all the women should be common to all the men; similarly, children should be held in common, and no parents should know its child, or child its parent”. This would be beneficial to all to lessen “distractions”. In addition, Plato’s educational system is intended at creating perfect leaders. He calls for “education in the arts”, while the arts should only be taught to those who can contribute to the society. Plato’s uses the state to find the soul in its perfection and then justice.
“Plato and More’s perfect places have their flaws despite their optimism”. In Plato’s perfect state, “happiness” is never discussed”. “Optimism that is precontrolled”. The Utopians do not know what fun is because “they have nothing to compare it to”. No matter where you go, you have to work. Their concept of a happy life is one filled with work “If you work really hard, there is no competition”. These two ideal states have their weak points, although their mentality in achieving the perfect city is related.
These two writers have the same idea in which they both contain the idea of a perfect state. Although More describes Utopia as an existing state, Plato doesn’t mean for his ideal city to be an actuality. They both believe that if humans follow their rules of an ideal society, that everyone will find peace and happiness. Utopia may have been “no place”, but it isn’t that far off from the sentiments of the Republic.