Write a note on Bacon’s treatment of personal relationship in his essays Or, Bacon’s essays reflect reason and argument and no feeling or emotion. How does it affect the qualities of his prose?
Francis Bacon in his Essays was much concerned with the worldly affairs that often raise the demands of the day. The themes of the Essays are varied and many. To be more specific, the subjects that Bacon dealt with in his essays are: first, social and moral aspects of human life, second, domestic and social relationships of human beings and third, religious and metaphysical life. In treating religions and metaphysics, Bacon never took a traditional approach rather he was inspired by the Renaissance thoughts. In the present selection, there are four essays – Of Love, ‘Of Truth’, Of Marriage and Single Life and Of Plantations to discuss. Among them, the first three specifically dealt with religious, social, and personal subjects. Love seems to deal with the traditional definition and scope of love affairs. But a serious reading of the essay reveals that it is more concerned with the good and bad sides of the affair. For example, Bacon cautioned the people that love affair causes some weaknesses in human beings.
The weaknesses are as follows: One, when a man is engaged in love he turns into a flatterer or a proud person. His flattery or pride hinders him to be wise. Second, as a man is involved in love he very often shuns thinking of others – be it heaven or other noble objects of the world. So his world becomes small and confined to a maze of thinking. Finally, a lover can have nothing but inward and secret contempt from his beloved. In the essay Of Truth Bacon focused on the secular aspects of speaking the truth. He emphasized how truth can be beneficial for the social good.
He also highlighted the negative aspects of human beings why a person keeps himself away from telling the truth. The author argues that people generally are attracted to tell lies for two reasons: One, delight in giddiness meaning that they want to have delight in the constant change of opinions. If the people abide by a fixed belief they think that it could affect them. The second reason is a natural but corrupt love of the lie itself. It makes people distracted from exploring the true nature in any matter.
It is not only the people of general wit who are habituated with this trend of thinking about truth but also people of discoursing wit’ -those of superior wits abandon the painstaking way of exploring the true features of any matter. They are also used to shun a fixed belief. They think that it cannot be beneficial to meet their wishes or desire fully both in thought and practices. the essay, Oof Marriage, and Single Life Bacon dealt with a subjective theme. But he never advised didactically the people on the theme. The author suggests that marriage is a great obstacle to a good friendship.
As an unmarried person has no bindings or does not have any pull factors behind him that can impede him. As a result, he can be the best master and servant. They need not be concerned about the future. But it happens to be tough to get this unmarried person tamed. It is for two reasons: one, he enjoys freedom. Second, once he tastes freedom, he does not want to be tamed and be under any compulsion. From this perspective, the author says that a single person is the best friend, best master; but not always the best subject. From the above discussion, it is clear that Bacon was more rational and prudential in dealing with the subjects that are personal and subjective in nature. Among the contemporaries, he had to fight to establish the trend that is a more scientific and rational line of argument rather than dogmatic.
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