The politics of discourse in Thomas More's "Utopia"

José María Rodríguez García


Besides being the cornerstone of modern utopian fiction, Thomas More’s Utopia provides a paradigmatic example of a doctrinal text and a serio ludere in which questions related to the use of narrators (e.g., who speaks and for whom; on which diegetic level each speaker exists) are as important as the content of the doctrines being expounded. As happens in other towering works of the Renaissance (such as Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote or Anne Bradstreet’s The Tenth Muse), the main text appears buried underneath a thick layer of epistles, poems, dedications, and recantations. The principal function of these paratexts is to give a satirical dimension to the description of the kingdom of Utopia. Just as important, the silencing of Utopia’s history reinforces the hypothesis that in More’s fiction, Raphael Hythlodaeus’s narrative works toward legitimating the fragile Tudor regime, with which it is ironically contrasted.

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Copyright (c) 2013 José María Rodríguez García

Licencia de Creative Commons
Este obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento 4.0 Internacional.

© Universidad de La Rioja, 2013

ISSN 0211-0547

EISSN 1699-292X