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Explain how Utopia plays a dual role in painting a picture of an ideal society and also a dramatic portrayal of the 16th century society.


Thomas More's Utopia, or any work about the concept of Utopia, serves as both a reflection of what is and a vision of what can be.  In this sense, More's work plays a duel role of painting a picture of the ideal society as well as a dramatic portrayal of 16th Century society.   Writing about the political fragmentation in England at the time under Henry VIII, More's work suggests that such political challenges must be overcome.  When More makes the assertion that philosophers can be used to guide the actions of political leaders, it is a direct reflection of the setting where More, himself, served as an adviser to Henry VIII, who ended up not following all of More's advice.  In the embrace of the Platonic Philosopher- King, there is a direct statement about what should be that arises from what is.  Similar to how Plato's thought reflects a vision of reality not fully recognized as well as offering comment on status quo attempts, More does the same in his work.

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