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study

  • Course: study
  • Professor: ali ali
  • School: jinah public school
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BACON AS A PROSE STYLIST
It has been observed by a critic that,
“The quality of strength in bacon’s style is intellectual rather than emotional”

Indeed the secret of Bacon’s strength lies in his shortness. Hardly any writer, ancient or modern, has succeeded in compressing so much meaning within so short a compass; several of essays- e.g. “those on studies and negotiating”- are marvels of condensation. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Bacon’s style is that no one can stay indifferent to it. In other words, as a prose writer, he has either ardent admirers or passionate detractors. And, it is interesting to note that both these extreme positions are occasioned by the very same properties of his style. Bacon ushered in the modern era ofwriting English prose. F.G Selby says that, “The part of Bacon’s influence is of course due to the charm of his style”

To be sure, there is a marked difference in the style of his earlier essays and that of his later ones. But, the important fact is that the difference is one of approach and not one of technique. In the beginning, Bacon thought the essay to be nothing more than a diary of “dispersed meditations”. Therefore, the earlier essays are terse and pithy jottings of his observations on domestic, political, intellectual, moral, religious and social issue. As a result, the discerning reader can see that these essays are mere skeletons of thought grouped around a single theme. “Of Studies” belongs to this category. In this essay, we see how Bacon has a quick, chatty way of writing---almost as if he were talking to himself: “Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them”

It must be noted that the same aphoristic character of the diction is to be found in his later essays. The difference is that, with the passage of time, Bacon toned the rapier-sharp rhythm of his sentences. This is because he perceived that his rapidly growing reading public was made up of people having varying reading...
BACON AS A PROSE STYLIST
It has been observed by a critic that,
“The quality of strength in bacon’s style is intellectual rather than emotional”
Indeed the secret of Bacon’s strength lies in his shortness. Hardly any writer, ancient or
modern, has succeeded in compressing so much meaning within so short a compass; several
of essays- e.g. “those on studies and negotiating”- are marvels of condensation. Perhaps the
most fascinating aspect of Bacon’s style is that no one can stay indifferent to it. In other
words, as a prose writer, he has either ardent admirers or passionate detractors. And, it is
interesting to note that both these extreme positions are occasioned by the very same
properties of his style. Bacon ushered in the modern era ofwriting English prose. F.G Selby
says that,
“The part of Bacon’s influence is of course due to the charm of his style”
To be sure, there is a marked difference in the style of his earlier essays and that of his later
ones. But, the important fact is that the difference is one of approach and not one
of technique. In the beginning, Bacon thought the essay to be nothing more than a diary of
“dispersed meditations”. Therefore, the earlier essays are terse and pithy jottings of his
observations on domestic, political, intellectual, moral, religious and social issue. As a result,
the discerning reader can see that these essays are mere skeletons of thought grouped
around a single theme. “Of Studies” belongs to this category. In this essay, we see how
Bacon has a quick, chatty way of writing---almost as if he were talking to himself:
“Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them”
It must be noted that the same aphoristic character of the diction is to be found in his later
essays. The difference is that, with the passage of time, Bacon toned the rapier-sharp
rhythm of his sentences. This is because he perceived that his rapidly growing reading public
was made up of people having varying reading tastes and skills. Let us compare the rhythm
of above quoted lines with that of passage taken from ‘Of Adversity’, which is one of his later
essays:
“We see in needle works and embroideries, it is more pleasing to have a lively
work upon sad, solemn ground, than to have a dark and melancholy work upon a
lightsome ground”
The brilliant rhetoric is the same in both the passages. So it is the pithiness and the terse
virgour. Even Bacon’s predilection for juxtaposition of thesis and antithesis is seen in both
instances. The main difference is that the first passage is so constructed that Dean Church
was moved to say that the words”
“…come down like the stroke of hammer…”
On the contrary, the second passage flows harmoniously more like a melody than like a
beat. In his earlier days, Bacon achieved terseness in his style by leaving out superfluous
epithets, conjunctions and connectives. Later he aimed more towards crafting balanced
sentences which consisted of two parts. The first part would be a statement and second
would be an explanatory analogy. For example:
“He that hath wife and child hath given hostages to fortune; for they are
impediments to great enterprises either of virtue or mischief