Francis Bacon: Of Revenge - Exploratory Analysis

Topics: Francis Bacon, Short story, Novum Organum Pages: 3 (1121 words) Published: December 2, 2013
Noe Ayala
Dr. Wilson
Composition II
11/12/13
Revenge: Is an eye for an eye what is best?
Sir Francis Bacon was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator and author. In 1597 he wrote a short story called “Of Revenge”. When I came across the short story in my book Reading Literature and Writing Argument I became interested in the story after reading the title. Revenge always happens to be a very interesting topic, typically filled with drama or action. After reading I began to ask myself some questions. Why might someone seek revenge? Is revenge ever justified?

After I was able to finish reading Of Revenge I decided that I should summarize his story to get a better understanding of his views on revenge. I observed that Bacon's main argument is that revenge is usually something that never produces a good outcome and is typically only viewed as just if it publicly deserved. He views revenge as a perversion of the law. The first wrong is governed by the law and the act of revenge is outside the law. He states that ignoring a wrong makes a man superior to the person who committed the first wrong (PSU.edu). He then points out that wise men have enough to do with the present and the future. Since a wrong in the past cannot be made right, it is best to concentrate on the present and future (academia). So why do people do it? I began my research on Google. I thought it would be good to start searching with “why do people seek revenge?” According to Apa.org, historically, there are two schools of thought on revenge. The Bible, Exodus 21:23 instructs us to "give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot" to punish an offender. But more than 2,000 years later, Martin Luther King Jr., responded, "The old law of 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind (APA.org). It seems that the concept of revenge has been in the minds of people since the beginning of time. There are some questions you must ask yourself in order...
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