Of Love – Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon’s essay Of Love delves into the complexities of the concept of love. The article begins by drawing parallels between love and the theatre. According to Bacon, love is similar to a stage in that it contains comedy, tragedy, mischief, and fury. As with stage productions, love is multidimensional.
Bacon discusses the unpleasant aspects of love in this article. He focuses primarily on the drawbacks of love. He asserts that love causes a great deal of havoc in life. It alternates between the roles of Siren and Fury. In the theatre, love plays a larger role than it does in everyday life. Love has always offered material for comedic and tragic dramas. However, in man’s actual existence, love produces a great deal of havoc. It can devastate a man’s career, as it did for Antony, or it can drive a man insane with jealously, as it did for Othello. As a moralist and puritan, he observes that no great and deserving person from ancient or modern times has ever been transported to the insane state of love. According to him, man was created to contemplate noble and magnificent objects. It is not proper for a guy to prostrate himself in front of a woman. He accuses the lover of exaggerating his feelings for her, and cautions the lover that even the woman may scoff at his overblown and lavish manner of speaking. Additionally, he states that the lover may forego both wealth and wisdom.
It is difficult to concur with Bacon’s views and assertions about love being the child of folly. Here, we witness a one-sided approach to love. When a man is either in a condition of tremendous affluence or great suffering, the desire of love is at its peak. If a guy is incapable of resisting love, he should at the very least keep it within reason. He should avoid allowing his love to interfere with his life’s business, as this could jeopardise his money. It may be prudent to keep love under check and avoid interfering with business. Undoubtedly, a lover must make sacrifices for the sake of his love. However, the reality remains that love is a magnificent and exquisite thing. Love is a multifaceted entity. It is one of humanity’s most motivating and ennobling interests. Bacon makes no mention of love’s raptures.
A man’s inherent nature is to love others. It is a natural urge to love one’s neighbour. If one does not focus his love on a single person, it will naturally spread to a wide number of others. If this occurs, a man will develop a greater capacity for kindness and charity, as is sometimes the case with monks. Monks are kind and caring because they spread their love to a large number of individuals. Married love is honourable and helpful to society as a whole. Love is also a good act that contributes to humanity’s advancement. Friendship love is beautiful and has an uplifting influence. However, immoral love, the kind that a guy feels for prostitutes, corrupts and degrades human beings.
In a nutshell, the essay reveals Bacon’s philosophical views on love. For him, love is more important onstage than in real life. However, love creates more havoc in real life. It may push a man away from his career; it may also fuel jealousy in a man. According to Bacon, kneeling before a lady for the sake of love is silly. Men’s perceptions of things are distorted by love. Despite all sacrifice, love has the potential to defeat its own object. For Helen, Paris sacrificed everything. Both success and adversity are precisely proportionate to love. Love is the offspring of insanity. If it cannot be resisted, it should be limited. It has the potential to ruin someone is life. The essay’s objective is to describe love and its effects on various types of individuals. The article reminds readers that regardless of who they are, love will have an effect on them. There is no way out.