Activity Outcome
  • Students will be able to articulate main issues in Utopia.
Relevant Course Outcome
  • Students will be able to read works of literature closely and thoroughly.

Note to each group: Be sure to point out quotations to support your responses. Also, add any relevant questions that you might devise during your discussion. Post a Discussion Post on THIS page with your responses.

Blue: Characters and Their Beliefs
  • Blue Group 1: What can we learn about Raphael Hythloday? Is he written as a character to admire? If so, what traits is he promoting? Could we call him an example (or even a prototype) of an "Early Modern man" (why or why not?)? Do you agree/disagree that these traits should be promoted and why?
  • Blue Group 2: What is the debate concerning counselors to kings (i.e. who should be counselors and why, how kings listen to/ignore counselors, etc.)? What are the three main characters' arguments for and against philosophers as counselors? Do you agree/disagree and why?

Orange: Interaction with New Worlds
  • Orange Group 1: How are new countries represented? Is there any reaction (i.e. mindsets, dispositions, beliefs about, reactions to, etc.) here to the burgeoning age of exploration? What attitudes is the text promoting or commenting on concerning new cultures? What is your opinion about these attitudes?
  • Orange Group 2: What are the text's attitudes towards kingship? In particular, what attitudes does it promote/reject that Raphael claims he has encountered in other countries/lands? What attitudes towards kingship does he attribute to Utopia? What are your thoughts on the attitudes towards kingship in Book 1?

Green: Commentary on English Society
  • Green Group 1: What does Book 1 tell us is the contemporary practice in England concerning thieves? What is Raphael's argument against this practice? What does he propose England should do instead? What theories are discussed concerning corporal punishment? What are your thoughts on England's practice with thieves and what are your thoughts on Raphael's solution (would it work?)?
  • Green Group 2: What comments are made about England's contemporary economic situation? What do we discover are the problems in England's economy and what is(are) asserted as the cause(s)? What are Raphael's solutions? What are your thoughts on these solutions (would they work?)?