From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by Thomas More

Utopia Philosophical Viewpoints: Political Philosophy Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Book.Page) based on the 1989 Cambridge University Press edition

Quote #1

We made no inquiries, however, about monsters, which are the routine of traveler's tales. Scyllas, ravenous Celaenos, man-eating Lastrygonians and that sort of monstrosity you can hardly avoid, but to find governments wisely established and sensibly ruled is not so easy. (1.12)

More is describing a pretty bleak political landscape here. You know you're in a political crisis when finding a well-governed country is more exciting and rare than a monster.

Quote #2

Peter replied, "[...] I do not mean that you should be in servitude to any king, only in his service."

"The difference is only a matter of one syllable," Raphael replied. (1.13)

As the More, Giles, and Hythloday debate gets going, we get a nice illustration of the divergent points of view on what it means to be involved in politics. Giles and More tend to agree, while Hythloday (surprise surprise) is the resident pessimist.

Quote #3

Your learning is so full, that even if it weren't combined with experience [...] you would be an extraordinary counsellor to any king in the world. (1.14)

More and Giles might be a tad frustrated with Hythloday's lack of interest in involving himself politically. Come on, Hythloday. Smart people should be out there advising kings—let's go!

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...