Francis Bacon´S Writing Style In "Of Friendship"

1187 words - 5 pages

Bacon's writing style in 'Of Friendship'
Francis Bacon is known to be a preeminent English essayist, lawyer, philosopher and statesman having leverage on the philosophy of science. Francis Bacon was one of the eminent crackerjack of English prose. He used to write a terse, epigrammatic, utilitarian prose, a prose well-structured and prescriptive, logical and illustrative. Bacon's prose was impregnated with practical wisdom, and he addressed his readers in an oracular voice which makes his works not only engaging for the readers but also easy to grasp. Many of Bacon's observations have become proverbial expressions in the English language. Bacon's style is most noteworthy for its terseness and displays a great expertise over condensation, such that each of his sentence manifolds several others. Bacon is an ace of aphoristic style and excels in expressing the truth in shortest possible meaningful words. As a pragmatic and as an empirical thinker Bacon followed two major renaissance doctrines i.e Sepantia or Search of Knowledge and Eloquentia , the art of rhetoric which shows that his writing was permeated with impassioned presentation of ideas and aphoristic style.

Bacon's essay "Of Friendship" is stylistically different from his other essays as it contains passionate and flattering statements along with examples to support or explain his arguments. Stylistic difference between “Of Friendship” and other Bacon’s essays is said to be eventuated because the essay was on his friend’s request. In the first paragraph he invokes basic aspects of human nature. First he mentions the saying of Aristotle that is “Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god”. According to Aristotle , a man that has natural aversion or antagonism against society is somewhat of a beast and his behavior degrades him to such an extent that is declared unfit for the society or else he may be so self-sufficient he doesn’t need the society and its norms. In the first case he resembles to a wild beast and in the second, he resembles god. Bacon was an exemplary scholar and in his essays we come across references and Latin quotations in good numbers which ameliorates his essays and makes them more engaging. In “Of Friendship” we are given the references of Epimenides the Candian, Numa the Roman, Empedocles the Sicilian, Apollonius of Tyana, L. Sylla, Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar, Brutus, Calpuruia, Augustus Caesar, Agrippa, Maecenas, Tiberius, Sejanus, Comineus and many more. He also liked to quote Latin phrases as in “Of Friendship” we have , ”Magna civitas, magna solitude”, “Participes curaurum”, “Corn e edito” etc. First he refers to the Latin phrase “ Magna civitas, magna solitude” , he then explains that in big town or city two friends are scattered and their fellowship or association is not as same as of small towns and cities.

Bacon’s essay revolves around on what he calls the “fruit of friendship”, which according to him are three in...

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