Utopia

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Utopus Character Analysis

Utopus is the (fictional) founder of the commonwealth of Utopia. He lived some 1,760 years before Raphael Hythloday delivers his discourse on the island nation. Utopus is best known for setting the groundwork of all Utopian law and policy, as well as for ordering the conquered natives of the place and his own soldiers to cut up and dig Utopia away from the mainland to which it was attached—so it was that Utopia came to be born as an island. Utopus also dedicated himself to taking care of the useful, pleasant gardens of Utopia when he founded the nation.

Utopus Quotes in Utopia

The Utopia quotes below are all either spoken by Utopus or refer to Utopus. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Travel, Discovery, and Place Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Oxford University Press edition of Utopia published in 2009.
Book 2: Discourse on Utopia Quotes

Utopus…even at his first arriving and entering upon the land [which was to become Utopia], forthwith obtaining the victory [over the natives], caused fifteen miles space of uplandish ground, where the sea had no passage, to be cut and digged up. And so brought the sea round about the land.

Related Characters: Raphael Hythloday (speaker), Utopus
Related Symbols: The Garden and the Island
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

In Book II, Hythloday speaks in detail about Utopia, beginning with its geography. Although Utopia is currently an island, it was not always so. 

In fact, the founder of Utopia, Utopus, arrived and conquered the native people of the land and put them to work digging up the land surrounding Utopia to create an island. This story about how Utopia was founded and created is very telling - the fact that Utopia is an island is especially revealing of Utopia's disconnect from the rest of the world, and of the difficulties of ever arriving at Utopia.

It might be surprising to learn that Utopus formed his ideal society only after conquering another people—although this may be metaphorical, meaning that our hearts must submit to the utopian spirit before we can build a utopia, in a way it seems disingenuous to found a free, just society on the subjugation of others. (Like, arguably, America and some European nations.)

Utopus presumably formed the island of Utopia to protect his ideal society from external corruptions. This purposeful disconnection makes it easier for a utopia to develop, but it also renders it unrelatable to the outside world and divorced from many of the historical troubles that real societies must deal with.

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Utopia quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Utopia LitChart as a printable PDF.
Utopia.pdf.medium

Utopus Character Timeline in Utopia

The timeline below shows where the character Utopus appears in Utopia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 2: Discourse on Utopia
Travel, Discovery, and Place Theme Icon
Ideals and Practicality Theme Icon
The Ambiguities of Utopia Theme Icon
...called Utopia. Its first name was Abraxa, perhaps meaning “Holy Name,” “without breeches,” or “waterless.” Utopus, the conqueror of the place and the founder of Utopia itself, civilized the natives of... (full context)
Book 2: Of Their Towns, Particularly of Amaurote
Travel, Discovery, and Place Theme Icon
Property, Labor, and Utopian Society Theme Icon
The Public Good, Virtue, and Religion Theme Icon
Ideals and Practicality Theme Icon
...is nothing so useful and pleasant as these gardens in Utopia, which is perhaps why Utopus dedicated himself to taking care of them when he founded the nation. This great founder... (full context)
Book 2: Of the Religions of the Utopians
Bad Governance, Pride, and Idleness Theme Icon
The Public Good, Virtue, and Religion Theme Icon
Ideals and Practicality Theme Icon
The Ambiguities of Utopia Theme Icon
...for sedition and for raising up dissent among the people. Religious tolerance was instituted by Utopus himself when he observed how religious disagreement caused strife among the natives of the island—and... (full context)
The Public Good, Virtue, and Religion Theme Icon
The Ambiguities of Utopia Theme Icon
Utopus reasoned that religious freedom promotes not only peace, but that it is part of God’s... (full context)
The Public Good, Virtue, and Religion Theme Icon
Ideals and Practicality Theme Icon
The Ambiguities of Utopia Theme Icon
Utopus did decree some limits on faith: no religion should declare that a man’s soul perishes... (full context)