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Utopia

Sir Thomas More

Characters

Context

General Summary

More  -  In service to King Henry VIII of England, he travels to Antwerp where he meets Peter Giles and Raphael Hythloday. More is a fictional character sharing the same name as Utopia's author, Sir Thomas More. However, More the fictional character should not be assumed to be a transparent mouthpiece of the opinions of the author. For the purpose of this review, in the Summary and specific sections' analyses, the name More will be used only in reference to the fictional character, while Thomas More will identify Utopia's author.
Peter Giles  -  Friend of More and acquaintance of Raphael Hythloday. Once again, Peter Giles is an actual historical figure, a friend and intellectual companion of Sir Thomas More. Peter Giles, in fact, helped More to get Utopia published. The fictional Giles shares nearly all of his biographical history with the real Peter Giles, but like the fictional More, should be understood to be a fictional character.
Raphael Hythloday  -  A philosopher and world traveler, he lived for five years on the island of Utopia before returning to Europe to spread the word about the Utopian's ideal society. Hythloday's last name, in Greek, means "talker of nonsense," a clue from Sir Thomas More to his reader that the island of Utopia is a fiction.
Cardinal John Morton  -  Actual Chancellor to Henry VIII. Hythloday once spent a fictional evening discussing the societal problems of England with Morton and an unnamed lawyer. The real Morton was instrumental in furthering Sir Thomas More's education at Oxford.
Lawyer  -  An unnamed man who once spent an evening with Hythloday and Cardinal Morton. He is defensive of England and unwilling to find fault with anything in English society.
General Utopus  -  Ancient warrior and founder of Utopia. He conquered the savages who once lived on the isthmus Utopia now occupies, and then set his army and new subjects to work cutting the land away to make Utopia an island. In his wisdom, Utopus set up the Utopian society that Hythloday finds so immensely attractive.

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