This essay takes a critical view of women’s role in the heavily influential work, Utopia, and how that compared to that role in the contemporary English society. Sir Thomas More’s Utopia was both influencing to and revealing of the early modern England under the rule of the Tudor monarchs of the 16th century. Coupling this with the sheer fact that this book is designed to explore a utopian society (in fact this is the first time the word was used as such), this work represents the gender ideas of England that were the background and motivation of the English just before their era of empire that imprinted English society all across the world. Understanding how the Tudor English viewed women is integral to analyzing how that presented itself in that society and in the colonies that England established: such as the United States of America. Thomas More presented women as being quite inferior to men but did actually give women more faculties than one might assume of the time period. His Utopia actually benefited from allowing women to participate in the workforce and learn specific trades, acknowledging their abilities but not their equality.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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