Committee Chair

Hampton, Bryan Adams

Committee Member

Guy, Matthew; Jordan, Joseph P., 1976-


Dept. of English


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The thesis examines the influence of Erasmus’s Christian Humanism on the political thought of John Milton and Thomas More, and argues that Milton’s politics was utopian like More’s. In true Erasmian spirit, their utopias blend classical ethics and Christian beliefs and emphasize education and training in virtue. However, virtue was significant to their utopian models for different reasons: More encourages virtue as a corrective and advocates a collectivist culture which restricts individual liberty; Milton, on the other hand, champions individual liberty and argues that only through freedom true virtue can be attained.


In this heteroglossic piece the loudest embedded voice is of Dr. Bryan Hampton. I am forever indebted to him for his forbearance and acceptance of my behavioral and intellectual inconsistencies. As a belligerent student, whatever crumpled balls of disheveled ideas I have been throwing at him; he has been very patiently catching them and returning them to me after carefully straightening every wrinkle. This is a mighty job! In my short teaching career, I have learned that crumpled balls—of papers, ideas, or remarks—are routinely thrown at educators, but very few mentors have the talent to catch them and channelize creativity through them. I am also thankful to Dr. Joseph Jordan for encouraging me to project my voice in my writings, and Dr. Matthew Guy for introducing me to literary criticism, and for his readiness to serve as a committee member for a project which was fragmented and idiotically ambitious at its nascent stages. Other faculty members that deserve mention are Dr. Aaron Shaheen, Rebecca Jones, Jennifer Stewart, and Lauren Ingraham. Together, they have not only shaped my work, but my character as well. Without their specific contributions, I would have lived on as an object would— material, mute and inert. Imperfect as it is, the thesis is not a culmination, but an initiation, a rite of passage for reaching literary adulthood, and it should be read thus.


M. A.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts.




Humanism in literature; Republicanism in literature; Utopias in literature


Milton, John, 1608-1674 -- Criticism and interpretation; More, Thomas, Saint, 1478-1535--Criticism and interpretation.


John Milton; Thomas More; Renaissance; Republicanism; Utopia; Utopianism

Document Type

Masters theses




vi, 105 leaves.