Of Studies by Francis Bacon: Summary | Questions and Answers | Major English Class 11



Of Studies by Francis Bacon: Summary | Questions and Answers | Major English Class 11
Neb English Support 

Of Studies by Francis Bacon: Summary | Questions and Answers | Major English Class 11

Of Studies by Francis Bacon


Of Studies by Francis Bacon 

This essay, "Of Studies," has been written by an English writer, Francis Bacon. Here in this essay, the writer has highlighted the importance of reading, writing, and learning in one's life with experience, reinforcing the three purposes of studies: for delight, for ornament, and for ability.

The main idea of this essay is the benefits of reading. Reading helps readers deal with a variety of situations. Reading also increases the intelligence of the reader and removes the restraint of the mind. The essay provides the correct method of reading different branches of knowledge and discusses their benefits.

In the essay "Of Studies," we find the writer Francis Bacon describing the importance of studies in human life. The writer begins this essay by enlisting three purposes of study, which are as follows:

1. Studies for delight: studies for gaining delight or happiness in one's life.

2. Studies for ornament: Studies for ornamenting one’s life.

3. Studies for ability: studies for improving one’s ability in life.

Francis Bacon has outlined three main uses of study. The first use of the studies is that they serve for delight or pleasure. This delight can be found in solitude or leisure after retirement from active life. Secondly, studies serve as an ornament in communication, conversation, and discourse. An educated person can talk more attractively than an illiterate person. The third use of studies is that they help in decision-making, judgement, and disposition of business.

Experts can judge the cases one by one when they come before them, and they execute them according to their experience. However, this is not the case with educated people. They can advise on any situation according to their knowledge, and thus, learned people are best at marshalling matters.

However, the studies have their own limitations. If too much time is spent on studies, it is nothing but laziness. If these are used excessively in conversation, they tend to exaggerate and pose a threat. And if a scholar makes every decision of his life with his knowledge, then it is foolish and humorous behaviour by the scholar.

The study has a perfect nature. Moreover, they are perfected by experience.  Bacon compares the natural abilities of a man to those of a natural tree that requires the pruning that comes from the study. The scope of the studies is huge; it is the icing on the cake if experience is added to them.

According to Bacon, “Crafty men condemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them.".

Men who are hardworking or primitive men hate or condemn studies. However, men with simple intellects admire them. Moreover, intelligent men use them practically. Studies do not have their own uses. It is the wisdom of a person that teaches him to use them. Bacon is of the view that one should not read to contradict and confute others; he should not believe and rely solely on words, nor find any point of discussion in the conversation, but he should read them and use them to weigh and consider their value. The author supports this argument with the following statement:

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested."

There are some books that have to be read only in parts because they are useful to a person only in certain places. It is not proper to read them word for word. On the contrary, some books should not be read out of curiosity, and some must be read with full attention and diligence, as they require the full attention of the reader. Moreover, there are hidden treasures in this category of books that can only be found with the diligence of the reader. Another category is 'like common distilled water' i.e., 'distilled books'; these books are extracts made from other books and compiled in another book. These are bad-quality books.

Bacon says a quite useful line in favour of reading: “Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.”.

It is reading that adds to a man's knowledge and makes him complete in the sense of his wisdom. Undoubtedly, it is the interaction with others that prepares a person for practically any kind of step to be taken for the sake of his knowledge. Furthermore, it is the skill of extensive or innovative writing that makes a person a complete person because human beings are created to marvel, innovate, and generate new ideas.

In addition, the author describes some facts about studies. He says that if a man writes less, he needs a great memory to remember all the things he has learned. If a person interacts less, he needs a present and sharp intellect; if one reads a little, he must be clever in knowing what he does not.

Bacon impresses the reader through his comprehensive and great sayings. He says,

“Histories make men wise; poets witty; mathematics subtle; natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend.”.

Bacon says that it is the history of the ancestors that makes the new generations wise and witty. These are the rules and regulations laid down by the ancients that make mathematics subtle. It is because of history that philosophy has deep meaning and can be defended through logic and rhetorical arguments.

Bacon is of the view that any obstacle or hindrance to the intellect can be overcome by proper study. If a person considers himself to be dull as well as retarded, he can improve himself through studies. Clearly, 'bowling is good for stones and reins; shooting for the lungs and breast; gentle walking for the stomach;  'Ride for the head', likewise, studies also have a physiological role in the life of a mortal. If a person's intellect is unable to concentrate on one point and keeps wandering, let him study mathematics so that he can learn to demonstrate logically. If there is no difference in his intelligence, let him read to schoolchildren. If a person is not able to call to prove one thing and clarify another, he should study the cases of lawyers.

Bacon encloses the essay by saying, “So every defect of the mind may have a special receipt.”.

Bacon concludes his essay by suggesting that studies help a person overcome the defects of his mind because every problem of the human mind is of special importance to the individual and the world.


Bacon's study essay deals with the benefits of the study to individuals in their daily lives. From reading books to writing papers, study plays an important role in a person's life, making him learn, witty, and experienced.

Bacon's essay is rich in intellectual wisdom, practical approach, and practical wisdom; hence, it is considered the most beneficial essay for students and young people.

Though the essay is devoid of any emotion or colourful expressions, it is still a wonderful effort to teach readers about the importance of studying.


Of Studies by Francis Bacon

Understanding the Text

1. According to Bacon, what are the three purposes of studies?


According to Bacon, the three purposes of studies are for delight, for ornament, and for ability.

2. What is the chief use of studies for delight according to Francis Bacon?


The chief use of studies for delight, according to Francis Bacon, is to provide happiness or pleasure in one's life.

3. What is Bacon's view about spending too much time on studies?


Bacon views spending too much time on studies as a form of laziness.

4. What does Bacon mean by 'writing makes an exact man'?


By 'writing makes an exact man,' Bacon means that engaging in writing helps refine a person, making them more precise and thorough in their thoughts and expressions.

5. If a man's wit is wandering, what does Bacon suggest to study?


If a man's wit is wandering, Bacon suggests studying mathematics to help develop logical demonstration skills.

Reference to the Context

1. Explain the following line.

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.



The line "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested" means that different books serve different purposes. Some are meant for a cursory reading, some for a thorough understanding, and a few require careful and deep analysis.

2. "Crafty men condemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them". Explain this statement in reference to 'Of Studies' by Bacon.


"Crafty men condemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them" suggests that cunning individuals criticize the pursuit of knowledge, naive individuals appreciate it, and intelligent individuals actively employ knowledge for practical purposes.

Literary Analysis

1. Which style of writing does Bacon follows in the essay 'Of Studies'?


Bacon follows an expository or argumentative style of writing in the essay 'Of Studies,' where he presents a logical and systematic discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of studying.

Reference beyond the Text

1. "Reading makes a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man." Explain.


"Reading makes a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man" implies that reading enriches a person's knowledge, discussions enhance their readiness or eloquence, and writing refines and makes them more precise.

2. Write a critical appreciation of the essay 'Of Studies'.


A critical appreciation of the essay 'Of Studies' would involve recognizing Bacon's emphasis on the practical utility of studies, his clear and systematic writing style, and the relevance of his ideas in promoting the pursuit of knowledge for personal and societal benefit.

Thanks for Visiting my Website: Suraj Bhatt

Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)

Previous Post Next Post
DMCA.com Protection Status