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Is Thomas More's "splendid few book?"

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  1. The humour and satiric derision in Utopia
  2. The character Hythloday
  3. Utopia as a programme to turn the modern society into a fair and egalitarian society

Some critics view Utopia as a program or manifesto where as some urge that the mistake lies with those readers who consider the book as "au grand sérieux". Indeed, how seriously should we take Utopia? In Lewis' point of view, the reader of Utopia is the victim of a joke: "Erasmus speaks of it as if it were primarily a comic book; for Harpsfield it is a "iollye intention", which is pleasantly set forth. Lewis asserts that "this is not the language in which a friend or an enemy or an author refers to a serious philosophical treatise". Therefore, it all sounds as if we had to do with a book "whose real place is not in the history of political thought so much as in that of fiction and satire". Is Utopia just entertaining or also instructive? Is it an exercise in humor with a philosophical and political purpose? Is it a schizophrenic work?

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