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Francis Bacon was born January 22, 1561 at York House. During 1573 to 1575 Bacon attended college at Trinity College in Cambridge. During 1576 to 1579 Bacon was a member of the English ambassador’s suite in France. Francis Bacon was a lawyer, statesman, philosopher, and known for his essays and quotes. Francis Bacon was said to have two lives. One of a lawyer who waged a campaign under Queen Elizabeth I and King James I. John Portmann says, “For it was the fabled British monarch Elizabeth who in large part caused Bacon the series of disappointments around which his life took shape. It was also she who unknowingly caused him to plumb the darker side of the human condition and advance learning so decisively as to justify yet another critical study of Francis Bacon”. In 1593 Bacon took a stand against the government’s demand to help meet expenses of the war against Spain. Queen Elizabeth took this offensively and Bacon was disgraced for several years when there could have been chances for advancement in his legal career.
Francis Bacon and the Renaissance
The second life was a scholarly aiming short of a systematic reform of human knowledge during the Renaissance Europe. Robert Ellis says, “Bacon’s real accomplishment was that of an eloquent and influential herald of scientific study with the avowed purpose of harnessing nature to work to relieve the physical and other burdens faced by humankind in his time”. Kate Aughterson says, “Recent studies have begun to break up the image of a monolithic Bacon, seeing him as both an able lawyer and thinker but an indifferent writer in some areas and for particular purposes, but a plain stylist in and for others”. Bacon has been said to be a plain stylist.
Aughterson says, “The main features of the “plain Stylist” are a lack of ornate metaphors; simple syntactic patterns; a logical progression of sentence and meaning; and a preference for well-tried words rather than neologisms; a transparent, trope-free language”. Bacon concentrated on psychological barriers to knowledge about the natural world.
Francis Bacon the Plain Stylist
Stephen Gould says, “Bacon therefore developed a celebrated metaphor to classify these psychological barriers. He designated such impediments as idols and recognized four major categories—idola specus (of the cave), idola fori (of the forum, or marketplace), idola Theatri (of the theater), and idola tribus (of the tribe)”.
Bacon’s father died leaving Bacon to work for a living. Bacon chose to take up the career of his father, a courtier in royal service. This made Bacon dependent upon the queen. Many say that Bacon chose to be a lawyer, while his passion was with philosophy and science.