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Sir Thomas More & Travel Literature Notes

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THOMAS

MORE

-

TRAVEL

AND

UTOPIA


'The

author

of

Utopia

is

a

different

being

from


the

opponent

of

Tyndale,

and

different

again


from

More

the

historian

or

the

Christian

soul


beset

with

fears

in

The

Dialogue

of

Comfort'


(JOHN

WARRINGTON).


MORE

+

DIVERSITY


Compare

the

aims

of

any

two

utopias

of

the


period.


MORE

+

UTOPIAN

WRITING


'A

new

world

of

literature

had

been

opened

up


by

humanists,

a

new

world

of

religion

in


vernacular

translations

of

the

Bible,

a

new

world


of

discovery,

trade

and

colonization

by


voyagers.'


RESPONSE

TO

NEW

WORLD


"O

my

America,

my

new

found

land

(Donne)

-


NEW

WORLD

+

EXPLORATION


Consider

the

importance

of

the

travelogue

and


/or

imaginary

journey

in

this

period


TRAVEL

WRITING


"Renaissance

travel

writing

aimed

more

at


clearing

the

ground

for

conquest

and

investment


than

at

understanding

different

cultures".


COLONIALISM

+

CONQUEST


'The

details

of

Utopia

raise

problems

but

not


necessarily

solutions'


PROBLEMS

IN

UTOPIA


"The

central

concern

of

More's

writing

is

the


moral

well--being

of

Henrician

England"


UTOPIA

+

ENGLAND


"A

saint

to

some,

a

persecutor

to

others

"

-


MORE

+

RELIGIOUS

DIFFERENCE


Write

on

More's

sense

of

the

dramatic


MORE

+

DRAMATIC


If

I

should

propose

to

any

king

wholesome


decrees,

doing

my

endeavour

to

pluck

out

of

his


mind

the

pernicious

original

causes

of

vice

and


naughtiness,

think

you

not

that

I

should


forthwith

either

be

driven

away

or

else

made

a


laughing--stock?'

(MORE)


KINGS

COUNSIL

-

MORE'S

POLITICS


'What

is

the

purpose

of

writing

about

other


lands

or

recounting

one's

experience

of

foreign


travel?'

(ANDREW

HADFIELD)


PURPOSE

OF

TRAVEL

WRITING


"In

a

rising,

mercantile,

politically

conscious,


comparatively

affluent

society,

there

was

a

need


for

new

vision

of

the

good

life,

new

paradises,


new

golden

worlds,

even

new

hell"


UTOPIAN

VISIONS


"Religiously

and

politically

he

was

consistent"


C.W

Lewis.

Do

some

of

More's

other

works

help


us

to

interpret

Utopia?


MORE'S

CONSISTENCE

/

OTHER

WORKS


"The

association

between

travel

and

misfortune


has

the

character

of

a

literary

convention.

The


traveler,

like

the

lover,

is

a

generic

figure

of

woe"


(Peter

Womack)


CONVENTIONS

OF

TRAVEL

LIT


MAJOR

THEMES


TRAVEL

WRITING

/

GENRE

/

CONVENTIONS


NEW

WORLDS


THE

NEED

/

PURPOSE

OF

UTOPIAN

WRITING


MORE'S

RELGIOUS

/

POLITICAL

VIEWS


MORE

OTHER

WORK

IN

RELATION

TO


UTOPIA


MORE'S

DRAMATIC

WRITING


MORE'S

DIVERSITY

1.

TRAVEL

WRITING

-

Exploration,

New

World


Characteristic

of

a

utopia

by

Amy

Boesky:


=
=
=
=
=

I define

utopia

as

a

'speaking

picture'

of

an

ideal

commonwealth


it

is

a

self-conscious

and

necessarily

intertextual

form


In

most

cases

the

utopia

is

a

dialogue

based

on

the

traveler's

tale


discovered

by

accident

after

a

storm,

shipwreck,

or

confusion

at

sea

[


the

visitor

returns

to

his

native

country,

taking

back

the

valuable

impression

of

the

ideal


commonwealth

and

making

it

known


Amy

Boesky,

Founding

Fictions:

Utopias

in

Early

Modern

England

(Athens,1996)

1606 Drayton's

"To

The

Virginian

Voyage:


= Unequivocally

optimistic

in

description

of

The

New

World


= The

harsh

realities

of

life

in

Virginia

in

post

Jamestown

pamphlets

from

the

Americans

had

not


yet

tainted

views

of

NW


= Refs

to

"golden

age"

-

engages

with

tradition

(Chapman

part

of

it

too)

-

American

landscape

in


Ovidian

terms

derived

from

the

depictions

of

Saturns

Idylic

reign

in

Metamorphosos

1596 Chapman's

De

Guiana

Carmen

Epidcum:


= Thought

to

represent

propagandistic

attempt

through

poetry

to

gain

support

for

WR

caolonial


enterprises

in

NW


Lisa

Hopkins

"harnesses

the

full

representational

amoury

of

poetry

and

by

its

Latin

Title

and

use

of

the


epic

form,

deliberately

presents

itself

as

hymning

the

English

colonial

enterprise

in

the

Americas,

in

much


the

same

spirit

as

Virgil

had

chronicles

Aeneas's

forays

in

Africa

and

Italy:


The

Old

World

and

the

New

in

As

You

Like

It.'

EMLS

2002


Stephen

Greenblatt:

"Crisis

of

interpretation"

caused

by

discovery

of

a

new

world

-

unknowable

/


indescribable

-

European

writers

attempting

to

write

about

the

Americas

were

assisted

in

the

task

of


describing

the

utterly

new

+

inexpressible

by

turning

to

poetry


Marvelous

Possession

-

Wonder

of

the

New

world

1991


LATER

?

after

turbulence

following

initial

Jamestown

settlement,

when

English

colonizers

faced

Indian


invasions,

disease,

mutiny....

1681 Marvel's

Bermudas:


= Writes

of

fruitfulness

of

New

world


= Tone

like

Chapman

+

D

=

celebratory

+

Utopian


= Admiration

of

"eternal

spring"

reflects

D's

"Winters

age

/

That

long

there

doth

not

live


= Abundance

+

fruitfulness

which

D

expresses

"Nature

hath

in

store

/

Fowle,

venison

and

fish


= posits

NW

as

distinctly

recoverable

paradise

within

present

/

future

orientation

+

geographical


dimensions


= Makes

it

attainable,

but

unlike

earlier

Utopian

vision,

which

similarly

availed

themselves

of

a


spatial

rather

than

temporal

dimension

(e.g

UTOPIA,

located

specifically

in

Americas

saturated

in


riches)


= the

emphasis

in

Marvell

is

not

on

gold,

but

on

the

golden

age.


= The

Bermudas

are

not

a

lost

paradise

of

the

past,

but

an

extant

haven

which

can

be

journeyed

to


by

ship.


Written

report

-

visible

signs

of

discovery

-

foreign

lands

are

translated

for

consumption

by

colonizing


culture

in

its

own

language:

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