Analysis Of Bacon's Essay Of Love

1266 words - 6 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

In dialectic of love, “Platonists divide all creatures in three classes, one is all the visible/mortal, second is invisible/immortal and third is intellect level which is higher than corporeal and lower than immortal level, what theologians had called “rational soul”. Rational soul receives its dignity from angelic level and that is why above the corporeal level”.
According to Bacon if love becomes predominant rather than reason this “weak passion” controls all actions. Walter Savage Landor expresses much the same idea that, “love is a primary passion in those who love most a secondary in those who love least.” The exuberant passion and hyperbolic expression which is an intrinsic part of all love stories like Romeo Juliet to show the magnitude of this passion is a weakness. Bacon considers that in real life "perpetual hyperboles" distort men’s judgment and pervert the reality. Men indulge in flattery when fall in love which is worse than self adulation and can’t not remain prudent when in love. Bacon quotes from Sententiae by saying, “It is impossible to love and be wise”. As a result of this insanity he loses not only other thing but his love as well. A Greek mythological reference to Iliad supports his argument where Paris rejected both Juno and Pallas and their offerings which were power, wisdom and luxury and accepted Aphrodite’s offer ‘The love of Helen”. In spite of all sacrifices it may defeat its own object, he lost everything for Helen and finally lost Helen. Sarcastically Bacon says, “Love is a child of folly” a man should keep vigil against this dangerous passion. He viewed love as both burden and danger to those real men of history who flexed muscle.
In the last part of his essay, Bacon shows the other side of love by projecting some adaptable options in this matter. Bacon wants us to expand the conformed notion of love, he believes in the magnitude of this vehemence that’s why he points out toward some conduits through which this fervor can be channelized. Though it was not a popular view of love but may be true because it is held by a man who is though materialistic and worldly minded but a keen observer of human nature and a pragmatist. In his view, this potent sensation is for the private life like religion and can be shared with friends, spouse and with the creatures of God, if it follows enthusiastically in the streets it becomes an emasculating influence.
It is said that love is a “fever that comes and goes quite independently at...

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