How far does ” Of Revenge ” meet the criteria of an essay ?
Bacon’s ” Of Revenge ” is a short essay that is built on the topic of revenge. The essay opens with the topic sentence ‘ Revenge is a kind of wild justice … ‘ and the whole essay sheds an unfavorable light on the act of taking revenge. It is man’s natural tendency to take revenge but it is also unbecoming for a civilized person to take revenge over those who have harmed him. It puts the law out of office as it is the function of law to punish the wrongdoers. One should rather forgive one’s enemies and thus be much superior to those who have harmed him. Obviously, ” Of Revenge ” is a prose composition of very short length. It is personal in nature. It is a collection of reflections, and generalizations, and extracts from the Bible, history, etc. woven together for the most part into counsels for the successful conduct of life and the management of men. It lacks finish. Despite these features, Bacon’s ” Of Revenge ” differs from a modern essay which tends to be more and more elaborate, systematic, and perfect in form. It tries to acquire greater and greater finish and polish. But still, like a modern essay, it is attractive and charming for its aphoristic style and epigrammatic wisdom.