I t is very important to observe that Bacon's essay Of Truth occupies the first or foremost place in the collection. Also that this essay opens and concludes with the allusion to our Savior, who was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Bacon commences with the words "What is truth?
Of Truth by Francis Bacon Summary
It being foretold that when Christ cometh He shall not find faith upon the earth. It is worthy of note, too, what Bacon says of Pilate, that he "would not stay for an answer" implying that there was an answer, but that he did not want to hear it, and this is often the attitude of the world towards any problem that offends it's prejudices, rouses its passions, or dares to challenge its universal consent upon some echoed tradition which has never hitherto been looked into or examined.
In his essay "Of Atheism," Bacon points out, how the judgment is prejudiced by the feelings or affections, and how the mind is deprived of free judgment by the inclinations of the heart. This equally applies to the nature of all human beliefs that are allied by custom with consent and sentiment --and perhaps most of all to the opposers of the Bacon authorship of the plays. They, like Pilate, "will not stay for an answer," or give a "learning patience" to the problem, and in their hearts declare the theory a heresy, a foolish fad, an impossibility.
Mark Twain has recently drawn a parallel, comparing Shakespeare to Satan, and there is something in it, for all denial is of the badge of Antichrist; and has not the great German poet, Goethe described Mephistopheles and his followers? After all, rebutting evidence is always easier than proof, for the thing saves trouble if one only takes one's ignorance seriously, or affirmatively, setting up for a judge instead of a learner, and imagining a faculty of not knowing can be a criterion for passing judgments upon new discoveries.
But in this divine aphorism considering to whom it was applied, namely, to Antichrist, the highest deceiver we may discern well that the coming in a man's own name, without regard of antiquity or paternity, is no good sign of truth, although it be joined with the fortune and success of an eum recipietis" and book Advancement of Learning, p. Therefore the coming of Shakespeare in his own name, although he has been received without question, is not an infallible sign of truth.
In Aphorism 84 of the first book of the Novum Organum :.
By "consent" Bacon means, the world's general or universal assent, or tradition; as, for example, that Shakespeare is the author of the Folio plays. The world often mistakes echoes for volume, and there is the popular fallacy that counting of heads is proof of truth.
But in matters intellectual it is not as with physical power or wealth--there is no aggregate or arithmetical sum total, as, for example, when men pull on a rope or heap up money. But it is rather as in a race, where only a few can be first, and there is no addition of speeds.
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- Francis Bacon's Classic Essay, "Of Truth".
Therefore the saying,"That the world says, or the world believes," though to be respected, is not final, and should not deter us from examining anew problems which the past generations had probably no time or curiosity to question. Besides, as Bacon says, in this essay Of Truth,. Observe the apology for poetical fiction in this passage, which presently we find repeated with something of an explanation:.
That is to say, poetical fiction or invention, although it obscures truth, or veils it, is not all falsehood, and all parabolical poetry shadows, under tropes of similitude's, a concealed meaning of truth.
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- Of Truth Summary and Analysis:.
It would seem, then, that this essay Of Truth is a sort of apology for the poetical veil, or masque of Truth, upon the score of man's dislike, or incapability, of receiving unadulterated truth itself? Bacon uses the expression "I cannot tell" to excuse himself explanation of the world's love of lies. In the play of Richard III the same phrase in introduced, together with what would seem to answer the question in context with it Christ exclaimed "That the world cannot receive truth," and Bacon implies the same thing, and he then proceeds to explain that the disguises and actings of the world's stage are better adapted, than the searchlight of open daylight, for the half-lights of the theatre.
If the reader will turn to the essay entitled Of Masques and Triumphs, he will find complete proof that this is an allusion to the stage in the essay Of Truth. And it would seem as if there existed some sort of antithesis between these two essays, i. Observe, too, in both essays there is the same allusion to candle-light.
Masques were dramatic performances in which the actors were disguised by the wearing of masks which concealed their features, and so their identity. This point seems to me very pertinent to the entire subject of the essay and authorship of the plays , and is a hint of the very first importance as to whether Bacon wore a mask known as Shakespeare. His essays are usually short, sometimes shorter than what the conventional of essay suggests.
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In this essay, Bacon has presented the objective truth in various manifestations. Similarly, Bacon shares with us the subjective truth, operative in social life. In the beginning of the essay, Bacon rightly observes that generally people do not care for truth as Pilate, the governor of the Roman Empire, while conducting the trial of Jesus Christ, cares little for truth:.
Advancing his essay, Bacon explores the reasons why the people do not like truth. First, truth is acquired through hard work and man is ever reluctant to work hard.
They look attractive and colourful in the dim light of lies. He futher adds,. It is a fact that man prefers to cherish illusions, which make his life more interesting. Bacon being a literary artist illustrates this concept with an apt imagery that the poetic untruth is but the shadow of a lie.https://orplacinen.cf
Bacon Essays Analysis
The enquiry of truth, knowledge of truth and belief of truth are compared with the enjoyment of love. The Greek philosophers who questioned the possibilities of human knowledge are no longer there, but there are still some people who question the same. Men undergo various difficulties to learn the truth but once he does so it imposes a restriction on his thought and he wants to revert to lies.
Bacon says that the love is a corrupt yet natural tendency in human beings.
Francis Bacon: Essays and Major Works Summary | GradeSaver
Like the Greek philosopher Lucian, Bacon wonders what makes a man love lies for it does not give delight as it does in poetry or does not allow profit as in business. Truth is like daylight but it throws only as much light on the fallacies of the world as a candle light. Truth is like a pearl which shows best in daylight but it cannot be like a diamond or carbuncle that can shine in the dark. That means truth is unable to show itself in the face of a lie just as a pearl cannot be seen in the dark. A mixture of lie with truth adds pleasure. Here Bacon speaks about imagination.
If a man hangs on to the absolute truth and does not allow fancy, hopes or even doubt, he will be a melancholy person. Poetry has often been accused of being false as it is filled with imagination. But it is only a shadow of a lie, a reflection of reality which in itself is a reflection of the ideal.