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Analysis of Bacon's Essay of Love

In: English and Literature

Submitted By mirxa
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Analysis of Bacon’s essay ‘OF LOVE’
In this essay, “Of Love” Bacon tries to alter reader’s understanding by pointing out the shortcomings of love by focuses his attention on three points: Love is entertaining only on stage, it is an exaggerated form of expression in literature and wisdom and love wouldn’t coexist. He starts his essay by plunging direct into the crux of his argument which is confined in a short sentence, “The stage is more beholding of Love, than the real life of man.” He in the next line articulates the Aristotelian classification of stage i.e. tragedy and comedy. He believes that only plays are capable of portraying love that is pure and gives joy while in reality love is digressive, deluding and impish in nature like siren who deluded Odysseus on his voyage to home. He strengthens his argument by the dichotomous nature of Marcus Antony and Appius Claudius, where the former became the victim and the latter was the victor of this passion because, “love can find entrance not only into an open heart, but also a heart well fortified, if watch be not well kept." Bacon’s notion can be treated as a perception not as a rule to sentry emotions. According to him, Marcus Antonius, cohort of Appius Cladius, who was an “Austere and wise man”, was infiltrated by an astute passion because his “watch was not well kept”. Bacon is convinced that “Great spirits and great business do keep this weak passion”. But may we infer that Antonius was a "greater" man than Claudius because he held a seat of power and yet also loved?
Bacon refutes Epicurian notion that “Satris magnum…. Summs” means human beings should be content with studying one another. Reason is the highest virtue given to a man for higher purpose in life while love diminishes all the rational faculty of mind and confined his capabilities within a frame of a lover. The image of a free man as a coherent…...

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