Essay prompt: “Was More risking persecution by the church because of this book?”
More’s Utopia, although beginning logically enough, soon devolves into obvious satire. More needed it to be obvious enough to be viewed as satire by the general audience reading it, otherwise the church persecuting him would be too much of a threat. He made the book so all of the more logical, not so revolutionary ideas were placed at the beginning. There he talked of things like disbanding standing armies, for he saw them as tools of the king. He also said thieves should not be punished as badly as murderers, because if this were the case they’d be more likely to become murderers.
Only after these nonradical ideas were put into place did More begin his satire. The satire of destroying private property, gambling, pubs and recreational sports. This was so obviously satire that More named the teller of these opinions Raphael Hythloday, translated to talking nonsense. With the ability to claim complete satire, More gave himself a solid defense against the church persecuting him.