Of Death by Francis Bacon
Death is a fact that philosophers and writers such as Valluvar, Bharathi, and John Donne have discussed and written extensively about. Bacon’s view on death is singular. He wrote “Of Death” to alleviate human brains of their fear of death. He says that a person should either squelch or at the very least overcome their fear of death. Bacon wrote “Of Death” in an attempt to eradicate our fear of death. He says that a person should either squelch or at the very least overcome their fear of death. Bacon elucidates and clearly explains the fear of death. He also speaks out against Monks and religious academics who preach falsely. They have exaggerated death to the point where it has become terrifying, in his opinion. The article contains numerous theories, which he substantiates with examples. Additionally, he references proverbs from ancient philosophers to bolster his argument.
Why people are afraid of death?
People, like children, are scared of death. Why are they afraid? It is addressed by Bacon. Children hear ghost stories; elders inform them that ghosts appear at night, and as a result, they fear the dark. Likewise, human beings are told about the agonies of death, which causes them to fear it. When a person contemplates death, he envisions it through one of two lenses: religious or natural. If somebody believes that death is merely a means of passage between worlds and that he will be punished for his crimes, he is thinking religiously. On the other hand, a person may view the world through a natural lens; he may believe that death is inevitable; it is a natural rule. Bacon believes, however, that fear is a sign of cowardice in the case of natural death.
Bacon then expresses his dissatisfaction with religious notions. According to him, intellectuals have mingled religion with superstition. There are a few books that reference death as a source of excruciating agony. He then uses the analogy of squeezing a finger to illustrate the suffering: “a man should imagine the pain of having only the end of his finger pressed or tortured, and thus imagine the pains of death when the entire body is corrupted and dissolved.” Death, according to Sir Francis Bacon, has been overstated, which is why people are terrified of it. Death in Contradistinction to Its Concept:
Death Vs Its Concept
Which of the following is more heinous? Or the concept of death? The author quotes Seneca, a Roman philosopher who stated that it is not death itself that is frightening, but its notion. When people put themselves in the shoes of someone who is on the verge of death, they feel fearful; his groans, his face, and his spasms amplify their fear. Additionally, the presence of a close relative’s corpse heightens people’s fear. Death is not nearly as frightening as the circumstances surrounding it and the funeral rituals. Thus, it is not death itself that is heinous, but its conceptualization. Additionally, Sir Francis Bacon believes that anyone has the ability to overcome their fear of death. He should, however, express a desire to do so. If he have it, he possesses the ability to regulate his fear. Even a person’s most insignificant goal can overcome his or her fear of death.
People Without Fear
Bacon compiled a list of those who are fearless of death. They, too, are on a death to kill. The following is a list of the individuals.
1. An individual seeking fear is not afraid of death. Even though he is fully aware that his adversary will attempt to murder him. He seeks only retribution.
2. Devoted lover; he is willing to die for his adoration.
3. A man of integrity; he is willing to die to preserve his integrity.
4. A destitute man (a sufferer); he would rather die than suffer.
Bacon also made reference to a suicide episode involving Roman Emperor Otho. His followers also committed suicide as a sign of their loyalty to him. Following that, the author makes another reference to Seneca, who states that if a person is fed up with life, he may commit himself.
Similarly, an individual may commit suicide owing to boredom and feelings of monotony.
The History of Brave Men
Bacon then speaks of individuals who were fearless in the face of death. The following is a list of those who maintained their composure during their deaths. Bacon then speaks of individuals who are fearless of death, even when it approaches. The following is a list of those who maintained their composure during their deaths.
1. Augustus Caesar, Emperor of Rome; he was so composed that he paid his wife a compliment.
2. Tiberius, Emperor of Rome; died while attempting to maintain appearances. He was fearless in his death.
3. Vespasian, Roman Emperor; he declared himself to be a god before passing away.
4. Emperor Galba was assassinated. He gave his life willingly for his people’s welfare.
5. Septimius Severus, Roman Emperor, was curious to die when he realised he was about to die.
Numerous comparable instances exist throughout history of people willingly dying.
Bacon’s Suggestions for Conquering the fear of Death
Bacon concurs with the Roman writer Juvenal, who stated that humans should not fear death. It is a natural occurrence; it is unavoidable. When a person was born, he experienced pain; the same pain experienced by elders at the moment of death. Bacon is opposed to the idea of death preparation. Stoics used to practise death rituals in Athens. Bacon believes that doing so just serves to amplify fear. A person who is absorbed in his work and dies unexpectedly experiences less pain than someone who prepares for it. A person’s primary focus should be on good deeds; if he does so, he will experience less agony upon death.
Bacon quotes Simeon as the final illustration. He desired to see Christ, and upon attaining that desire, he died happily. Thus, in our world, everyone has a goal. If these are attained, a person may cheerfully die.
Bacon mentions the first advantage of death: people laud the deceased’s good acts. This is a highly widespread societal practise. When a person passes away, his memory is honoured. However, few people discuss his excellent deeds throughout his lifetime. Bacon’s second reason is satirical. He asserts that when a person dies, his adversaries are not envious. Bacon’s readers are urged to accept death as a natural rule. Rather of being cowards and fleeing from death, individuals should develop courage and embrace its beauty. The author is well-versed in both Roman and Greek philosophy. He uses historical allusions to ancient Rome. He has also read ancient Roman philosophy; as a result, he is able to substantiate his depositions with instances and references. This essay also includes examples of Latin phrases. In summary, the article is quite hopeful, as death is portrayed as a natural occurrence.