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Showing posts from October, 2007

Of Truth-Bacon

As a pragmatic and as an empirical thinker Bacon subscribed to the fundamental Renaissance ideals—Sepantia (search for knowledge) and Eloquentia (the art of rhetoric). Here in the essay Of Truth he supplements his search for truth by going back to the theories of the classical thinkers and also by taking out analogies from everyday life. It is to be noted here that his explication of the theme is impassioned and he succeeds in providing almost neutral judgements on the matter. Again, it is seen that Bacon’s last essays, though written in the same aphoristic manner, stylistically are different in that he supplied more analogies and examples to support or explain his arguments. As this essay belongs to the latter group, we find ample analogies and examples. Bacon, while explaining the reasons as to why people evade truth, talks of the Greek philosophical school of sceptics, set up by Pyrro. Those philosophers would question the validity of truth and constantly change their opinions. Ba…

Henry Vaughan's The Retreate

In the poem The Retreate Henry Vaughan deals with the loss of the heavenly glory experienced during the childhood and expresses a fanciful desire to get back that original stage. The theme, on the surface level, appears very simple; but going into the deeper the reader will find that the poem is founded on the diverse European idealistic, psychological, religious/mystical and philosophical doctrines in the western culture. On the socio-cultural level, the poem can be interpreted as a reflection of the urge for liberating the human psyche from the torments and tyrannies of civilization, an urge which, it must be said, has been expressed by Vaughan in the purest, distilled and highly cultivated form of thought. On the psychological level, the desire to go back to a happy childhood can be interpreted, Freud said, as an escape from the hard realities of life in the defence mechanism of regression, as a daydream, the root cause of which can be traced in the agoraphobia of a person, which c…

On Wordsworth's Prelude I and II

PreludeWordsworthGenerally speaking, The Prelude is a historical record of the growth of Wordsworth’s poetic imagination. It can be called an epic expansion of many poems like the Recluse, and The Excursion and, of course, the Tintern Abbey. The poem derived from many a thing: from the projected Recluse, from Coleridge’s suggestion about the French Revolution and, above all, from Wordsworth’s strenuous introspection. The end-product was a poem in which the poet furnished detailed record of the conditions in which he grew up and of the processes out of which he emerged as a poet of man and nature. In this the poem seems to have strong affinity with Wordsworth’s much read poem Tintern Abbey, which traces the development of his poetic career. But it must be stated here that The prelude is not an autobiography in the ordinary sense though he himself described the poem as “the story of my life; it is an autobiography in the sense that it offers in the poem the story of making of a poet. In…

One Day I Wrote Her Name…

Wyatt's I Find No Peace