1/19/2019

“Bacon's essays never fail to attract readers” Discuss.


There is certain periods in the worlds’ history which have special attraction for any students of the intellectual and moral development of mankind. In an age when belief in age old mythology was being shattered and tradition, authority and custom were no longer accepted as adequate sanctions for moral rules and political institutions, Bacon's “Essays” reflected the sentiments and attitudes that he found towards life and time of his age. In other words, Bacon (1561-1626) was the product of his time.

The essays are on human nature, on thoughts, art and on society and the state. Categorically speaking, the text, style and structure of Bacon's essays may be found in miniature the most serious concerns of one of the greatest intellect of the Renaissance period. The essays, for example, “Of Marriage and Single Life”, “Of Truth” and “Of Plantations” illustrate the qualities of life that he seems to value.

The essay “Of Truth” shows Bacon's keep observations of human beings. The remark that love of lies inherent in human beings may sound cynical but is neverthess undeniable. This essay expresses Bacon's moralistic learning that is his Prudential attitude to life. In this essay, he argued that truth is important not only in theological and philosophical fields but also in day to day life. Even those who do not practice truthfulness themselves, admit that honest and straightforward dealing denote nobility. A mixture of truth and falsehood helps in succeeding materially but it debase while it strengthens.

The essay “Of Marriage and Single Life” deals with the subject of popular interests. Marriage is a human experience and such a topic is bound to appeal even to a common man. Bacon puts forward a balance sheet of assets and Disadvantages. Bacon's approach to the institutions of marriage was somewhat utilitarian. Marriage makes a man do better in certain spheres of work and has detrimental effect in other spheres.

In “Of Love” Bacon took pragmatic point of view in treating the subject “love”.  According to him, love is result of human folly. If a man cannot resist love, he should at least keep within limits and keep it apart and isolated from the serious affairs of his life. If love is allowed to interfere with serious business, it will play havoc on man’s future and defect of his fate.

The essay “Of Plantations” bears the testimony of the fact that  Bacon was aware of his age and the demands of the time. In this essay, he emphasized that plantations are among the 'ancient, primitive and heroic works’. He also suggested the administrators how to make the plantation more useful for a growing nation.

To conclude, it is seen that the essays of Bacon reflect his keen interests in the detail of life. In doing so, he highlighted some idiosyncrasies of life that he seems to value. Another feature of Bacon is that these essays characterize the values and norms of the time.

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