Thomas More was a very devoted Catholic who was put on trial for treason in the 16th century, because he refused to acknowledge Henry VIII as the "ruler of the world, above everyone, including the Church" (Mansouri 04/04/00). He was declared guilty of reason, for which he was beheaded. However, twenty years before his death he wrote a novel titled "Utopia". The word "utopia" means a good, non-existent place. In other words, Thomas More wrote the novel "Utopia" to portray his idea of an ideal society that would never come into being. Thomas More's "Utopia" serves as a response to the ideal society depicted in Plato's "Republic", in which he further formulates Plato's most ingenious ideas. (Mansouri 04/04/00).
Both Thomas More's "Utopia" and Plato's "Republic" contain a description of the perfect state concerning class structure, the role of education, and the nature of governing. However, they do so for different reasons. Thomas More wrote "Utopia" to form "the most civilized nation of the world" (Mansouri 04/04/00). Whereas Plato, who lived during a period of Humanism, wrote the "Republic" as a philosophical work. Plato was not interested in defining the perfect state; rather, he uses the state as a "large-scale picture of the soul", in his search for the perfect soul (Mansouri 04/04/00).
The Utopian Society is "almost egalitarian" (Mansouri 04/04/00). However, Plato's Republic is a state of three classes that consist of a guardian class, an auxiliary class, and the masses of people. More focuses on Plato's guardian class in constructing the Utopian Society. The guardian class lives together in camps, sharing their property, and their earnings from the society as a whole. The guardian class is an egalitarian society, but only within the class. Although the Utopian Society is not entirely classless, it best resembles the guardian class. For in the Utopian Society everyone gets "plenty of everything that's needed for a comfortable life" (More 76-77).