Bacon’s “Essays”

“Would any of Bacon’s essays have been more persuasive if he had talked about his own experiences?”

Essays was written by Francis Bacon in 1597, England. The work consists of several relatively short essays on various topics such as “Of Counsel” or “Of Friendship.” Bacon wrote the essays to influence people, change thought and behavior and to give advice. For example, in “Of Friendship”, he talks of how true friends are the only thing that can open the heart. Perhaps he wanted people to look more towards having true friends instead of worthless “friendships” that didn’t add anything to their lives. He wanted to give counsel as to what to look for in friends.

However, though Bacon’s topics are excellent and he gives good advice, etc…, there is something missing: personal experience. If Bacon had provided personal experience, like, for example, in the essay “Of Friendship”, you would have been more moved to change or at least think about his advice. Personal experience also gives us a better tie to remember the essay by. Without it it’s a dry, scholarly, cold piece of writing. I would have liked the essays better if Bacon had included more personal experiences.

Also, the language is very difficult, at least for me, to understand. I’m sure it was common language in the 16th century, but nowadays it’s so alien, that it’s hard to follow the thoughts correctly.

That being said, I do think that even without any personal experiences Essays is still a great work from an influential figure-one worth reading, at least once in your life.

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4 thoughts on “Bacon’s “Essays”

  1. carmen gallego says:

    A mi me resulta muy dificil leerlo también. Pasa mucho con los autores de otros siglos. Hemos cambiado la forma de expresión.
    Bien escrito!!

    Like

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