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Of Friendship by Francis Bacon


“Of Friendship,” authored by Francis Bacon, is a wonderful essay that elaborates the importance of friendship for its readers. In his essay, Bacon discusses the basis of Aristotle’s theory and bases this on the concept of human nature. The essay discusses the value of friendship and the failures associated with friendship, in relation to Roman History. The author emphasizes the fruits of friendship and its value in our life.


The essay by Francis Bacon centers on the idea of what he refers to as Fruits of Friendship, compromising of three parts. The first of these is related to the capacity of evicting one’s frustration by having a friend who listens. Bacon exemplified the first point by reference to the concept majorly believed around his time. This concept states that the human body is composed of humor; earth, air, fire, and water. If these humor became unstable, it is likely to result in the human body developing a sickness. Bacon associates this with the health of the mind and to cure the imbalanced humor in mind, he suggests unloading frustrations on to a friend (Bacon 1871). In the essay, Bacon mainly focuses on incorporating and presenting the view of Aristotle’s political view that explains the theory behind a man who follows nature and a set pattern of behavior is likely to be degraded as socially unfit to belong in society. Friendship’s second fruit is known as benefits of having clarity towards the ability to understand. Clarity of understanding is linked to having such a friend that is faithful and can solve confusions in a person’s mind. The third fruit of friendship is called manifold, meaning that there are plenty of things in life which a friend is capable of fulfilling.

The emphasis on fruits of friendship and the value it presents in life can be related to maintaining friendship at a high social point. These fruits of friendship present Bacon’s emotional approach towards the value of a friend and the part they play in our life. For instance, the fruits of friendship truly summarize the perfect friend, from Bacon’s point of view, including a person that can listen to a person’s frustration, can be faithful and has the ability to solve confusions and has the power of fulfilling a person’s dreams of friendship. All points considered, Bacon’s inclusion of Aristotle’s political point of view in support of the first fruit, fits the criteria properly. In comparison the second point is applicable in the real world since a friend’s constructive criticism can aid a person to become better in life and the provided criticism is more helpful than a book written on laws of morality. The third fruit’s explanation and association with manifold states that a person’s unfulfilled desire can be accomplished if a person has a true friend, one that is faithful and supportive.


Bacon presents a detailed analysis of friendship, elaborating each perspective of friendship while summarizing it into three points, to which he refers to as fruits of friendship. These points present a detailed aspect of a friend. Friendship is a valued bond and Bacon’s appreciation is evident from the inspiration behind the essay. Bacon wrote the essay based on the request of his friend Toby Mathew. All points considered, is it applicable to the standards, norms, and values introduced by our society? Or are these fruits of friendship truly presenting the idealistic approach towards the present perception of friendship? Assessing these questions based on Francis Bacon’s essay “Of Friendship” and evaluating it to the realistic idea of friendship’s bond can help people gain a clear insight on the topic.

Works Cited

Bacon, Francis. “Of friendship.” The Essays (1871).



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