Francis Bacon: Of Revenge - Exploratory Analysis Essay

Words: 1112
Pages: 5

Noe Ayala
Dr. Wilson
Composition II
Revenge: Is an eye for an eye what is best?
Sir Francis Bacon was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator and author. In 1597 he wrote a short story called “Of Revenge”. When I came across the short story in my book Reading Literature and Writing Argument I became interested in the story after reading the title. Revenge always happens to be a very interesting topic, typically filled with drama or action. After reading I began to ask myself some questions. Why might someone seek revenge? Is revenge ever justified? After I was able to finish reading Of Revenge I decided that I should summarize his story to get a better understanding of his views on revenge. I observed
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Usually people feel they have been attacked in some way or suffered an unjust loss or injury. They are feeling anger, hate, jealousy, envy, and or shame towards the situation. Sometimes people are simply humiliated. If another person made them feel powerless, foolish, ridiculous, stupid, or ashamed people might try seeking revenge against them. Other times they may feel they have to defend their honor whether it is for themselves, their family, their ancestors, or another group they identify themselves with. So it goes deeper than just hurting someone’s feelings. This helped me understand that a negatively emotional event triggered the victim to seek equal damage for another person’s actions. You must completely shatter one’s peace of mind to the extent that they cannot get the issue out of their heads for them to seek revenge upon you. Now that I have analyzed these readings I have come up with a few more questions. Just because you are emotionally distraught, does that enable you to seek revenge without punishment to yourself? I must now differentiate a just and an unjust revenge.
Bacon then ends by pointing out that public revenge on bad leaders is "for the most part fortunate; as that for the death of Caesar; for the death of Pertinax; for the death of Henry the Third of France; and many more” ( He also reminds his reader that private revenge is "unfortunate.” While Bacon is in favor of publicly punishing and humiliating authority figures