On the surface 'Utopia' (1516) describes an ideal community : natural law, religion, and reason are its guiding principles. But I come across frequent references to its satirical nature. Does it satirise contemporary abuses in Western Europe, especially I suppose Western Christendom, or is some of the satire directed at the institutions and practices of the Utopians themselves? Or both?

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    Don't have time for a proper answer, and its a long time since I read it,but it's largely satire - gold is used to chain slaves, for example - and the clue is in the name, which literally means-‘Nowhere'.
    – TheHonRose
    Dec 24, 2017 at 17:40
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    @TheHonRose. I'd forgotten about the gold chains. A satire on contemporary society which values this largely useless metal ? The utopians take it at its proper value - as only good to make chains and such like with. Thanks for reply. I wonder where the slaves fit into the satire. Is this a point against the utopians, that they have slaves, or is the point that 'we' have slaves too ? Just thinking aloud, not pressing for an answer. Dec 24, 2017 at 19:00
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    @KorvinStarmast. Thanks for tidying the question. Much sharper. I am new to the site and new to its style of historical question. Dec 24, 2017 at 20:18
  • It is not possible to determine what exactly was in More's mind. Therefore this is a question of opinion. Read those authors who claim satirical nature and see whether they convince you or not.
    – Alex
    Dec 24, 2017 at 21:34
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    @GeoffreyThomas I always thought the gold chains was satirising humans for being slaves to money.
    – Semaphore
    Dec 24, 2017 at 22:19


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