Essays Questions and Answers
by Francis Bacon

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How does Bacon present the importance of studies?

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Francis Bacon's Essays, written in groups between 1597 and 1625, are masterpieces of practical guidance in how to get along in the world of business, politics, government, and personal relations. His style is, for the seventeenth century, plain, direct, and unadorned, which makes his essays readily understandable even today. His perspective on all subjects can be characterized as balanced—he discusses both the negative and the positive elements of a particular subject. For example, in his essay on the value of marriage, he argues that a married man with children gives "hostages to fortune" but concludes that marriage and children moderate a man's natural aggressive behavior and make him a more valuable citizen. Bacon always advocates the practical application of pursuits, and in "Of Studies," he explores the various uses of studies and concludes that studies are good not for their own sake but for how they can enhance one's ability to succeed in the world.

Bacon argues that studies serve...

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