Study Guide

Utopia Pride

By Thomas More


Pride is the problem. At least for Hythloday it's that simple. In Utopia, Hythloday sees Pride as public enemy #1, the main contributor to every political, social, and economic issue facing Europe. Poverty? Pride's fault. Bad kings? You guessed it, Pride. Even though you might think of pride as just one of those seven deadly sins, Hythloday goes out of his way to claim that it's at the root of all other sins. And guess what makes Utopian society so successful? Pride is never rewarded, so it doesn't really exist. Problem solved… maybe.

Questions About Pride

  1. What exactly is Hythloday's rationale for attacking pride? What behaviors does he see it directly cause? Why?
  2. According to Hythloday, what specifically is it about Utopian society that discourages pride? What is it about European society that makes it so common? 
  3. What are some examples of proud behavior in Utopia? Do our three main characters act proudly or do we just hear about pride in other situations?

Chew on This

Hythloday is wrong; pride may not always be great but it isn't all bad. In fact, having some pride is necessary in order to accomplish good things.

Hythloday is the one with the pride problem here, not the rest of Europe. Can you get much prouder than believing you're right and everyone else is wrong?