Discuss Bacon's Prose style.

Discuss Bacon's Prose style.


The merits of Bacon's prose style have been estimated from many a perspective. The grace of his style was appreciated by famous essayist Addison. The dazzling power of his fli-e-tone was admired by Saintsburry. Hume called him rather stiff and rigiol—Eiliis-WICIne his practical and pragmatic views on men and affairs. Bacon's style was shaped by the materialistic outlook prevailing in his age. The wisdom enshrined in his Essays was concerned with stern realities of life. Some of the salient features that characterize his prose are as follows:

Bacon is weighty with thought. Many of his sentences can be expanded into full paragraphs. One of the salient features of Bacon's prose is aphorism. Aphorism is the terse expression of a universal truth, For example, in the essay, Of Marriage and Single Life Bacon argued wives are young men's mistress; companions ,middle age and old men's nurse." This use of terse expression and epigrammatic shortness of sentence reflect the depth of an author's personal experience. Aphorism is different from the proverb. A proverb is an anonymous expression of truth whiles an aphorism is one's personal experience. So it can be said that Bacon blended his personal experience in his prose.







Another key feature of Bacon's prose is the use of allusions. Allusions are the indirect or implicit reference to another work of art or literature, to a historical ,person or event. For example, in the beginning of the essay Of Truth Bacon  referred to Pilate. Pilate was the governor of Judea. Before him the Christ was condemned and-condemned to death. He was introduced as a type of sceptical about truth. In the paragraph of the essay the nature of "Truth" is discussed in opposition to error. Bacon said that though truth is attainable, men prefer to tell lies. Men enjoy freedom of scepticism instead of being fixed in the monotony of beliefs and for this reason, they deliberately reject truth. This rejection of truth satisfies their vanity, their caprices or imaginatiOn. This allusion clarifies the meaning and message of the author that he wanted to convey to the readers. It adds dignity to the text too.

Use of imagery made the prose of Bacon lively. In doing so, he chose images from the familiar objects of nature or from the facts of everyday life. His similes and metaphors are apt, vivid and suggestive. They are not mere ornaments rather they render force, charm and clarity to his style. For instance, in the essay Of Truth he compared truth to clear and broad daylight. In the light of the day, truth may be compared to the grace of pearl which can be best appreciated in the daylight. It cannot be like diamond or carbuncle which can be best admired in the artificial lights of candles and lamps. As he said: "Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that sheweth best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond or carbuncle, that sheweth best in varied lights". What it suggests is that truth lacks the charm of variety of a diamond or carbuncle.

So, it can be concluded that Bacon revealed wisdom and experience. In blending both he did not take resort to any artificial or lofty style that can separate the readers from the text. Rather he took an every-day practical moralist approach where readers draw inspiration to act upon in this world.
Discuss Bacon's Prose style. Discuss Bacon's Prose style. Reviewed by Literature Xpress on Monday, January 07, 2019 Rating: 5

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