Francis Bacon and the Hero Archetype

Ukridge

A Disturbance in the Force
Hiya all,
Just finished a draft of an article, hope you enjoy it.

Abstract

This article explores features of the heroic archetype or “monomyth” in the biography of Sir Francis Bacon, working from the 22-point list developed by Lord Raglan. Beginning with the latter half of the list, we find several points of correspondence, then turn to the first half, beginning with the hero is born to a royal virgin, presenting evidence in support of the long-held conjecture that Bacon was the son of Elizabeth I (the virgin queen) and Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester. I argue that at some point after learning of his true origin, Bacon formed a conception of the heroic archetype, based on his knowledge of mythology, with which he personally identified. If true, this is critical for understanding the genesis of Bacon’s grand projects, and hence the modern era; in the words of Albert Schweitzer, “Bacon drafted the programme of the modern world view.” Part of that world view entails the opposition of science and religion; Bacon is partly responsible for the split, and I will argue he is the only person who can resolve it, for as he wrote, “Man by the Fall fell at the same time from the state of innocence and from his dominion over creation. Both of these losses, however, can even in this life be in some part repaired; the former by religion and Faith, the latter by arts and sciences.”
 

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Ukridge

A Disturbance in the Force
Abstract

This article explores features of the heroic archetype or “monomyth” in the biography of Sir Francis Bacon, working from the 22-point list developed by Lord Raglan. Beginning with the latter half of the list, we find several points of correspondence, then turn to the first half, beginning with the hero is born to a royal virgin, presenting evidence in support of the long-held conjecture that Bacon was the son of Elizabeth I (the virgin queen) and Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester. At some point after learning of his true origin, I argue, Bacon formed a conception of the heroic archetype, based on his knowledge of mythology, with which he personally identified. If true, this is critical for understanding the genesis of Bacon’s grand projects, and hence the modern era; in the words of Albert Schweitzer, “Bacon drafted the programme of the modern world view.” Part of that world view entails the opposition of science and religion; Bacon is partly responsible for the split, and I argue he is likely the only person who can resolve it, for as he wrote, “Man by the Fall fell at the same time from the state of innocence and from his dominion over creation. Both of these losses, however, can even in this life be in some part repaired; the former by religion and Faith, the latter by arts and sciences.”
 

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Michael B-C

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Thank you for the opportunity to read your draft paper Ukbridge and yes I very much enjoyed it. The issue of authorship has also been one of my areas of interest though I have rather let it fall by the wayside of late. Still, I take his significant if not primary contribution to the 'Shake-speare Project' as very much a given at this stage (even mainstream academia is finally giving ground on the matter - have you read Barry Clarke's 'Francis Bacon's Contribution to Shakespeare' published in 2019 by of all people Routledge yet?)

Though you only touch on a few of Raglan's list of 22 attributes in this article, can I assume you have developed Baconian mirrors to all the remainder or is that still a work in progress? I'd certainly be interested to read more if you have. Is it your intention to flesh this draft out any further or is this relatively short overview as far as you plan to take this?

By the way, I was relieved to also read how swiftly you moved on from Freud (or Fraud as he should be known) and Jung to Neuman's more perceptive assessment of the root of the hero archetype, though even here I would suggest he is writing of matters that have far deeper and older roots than he even suggests, belonging as they do to the cosmic battles - or as he puts it 'the archetypal wars of the gods' - that actually took place in the visible heavens over many millennia of cometary interaction with earth, as well as (in the case of the planet that acted as a comet, Mars, and the comet that became a planet, Venus) the intervention of other cosmic bodies and phenomena that have long since departed our skies (though maybe long overdue a return visit!) and which were perceived by our ancestors as 'heroic' saviours. It is my suspicion that Bacon and his compatriots of the whole Shakespeare scam knew much about such origins and indeed in particular you can find these archetypal patterns embedded at the deepest levels of the plays. Not that he understood any of this but Ted Hughe's masterpiece 'Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being', is the only utterly vital book I've read on the cannon that fully and cohesively presents them as soul dramas designed to heroically heal a primal cosmic fault whose origins can be found in both the Fall and to humankind's self-defining relationship to the above. After an inexcusable deletion from the catalogue its been recently reissued after a decade or more of exile. A most timely read for those who wish to dig down into the subterranean basement of the primal purpose of 'Shake-speare'.

I'm still on the fence concerning the accusation that Bacon is responsible for the separation of science and poesy (left brain/right brain). In my reading he tried to unify them by setting them different but complementary tasks in the healing and making whole again process he set out to inspire. The fault to my mind came with those after who, failing to grasp the subtleties of his distinction between say Natural and Observational Science, took the latter and just ran with it at the exclusion of the more important, philosophically profound former concept (and of course one with truly ancient roots). Having said that Bacon's excessively analytical mind is easy to misinterpret; the only issue that still makes me hesitate with regard to the authorship issue is the often impenetrable and overly formal nature of his prose. For many I know this is the biggest barrier between the shimmering, rhythmically driven pen of the bard and the dry formality and - to the modern mind - leaden, overly worthy style of Bacon. It was said that his genius extended to being able to effortlessly create totally distinct writing styles for whatever the need and form... but it remains a challenge to find any hint of the playwright and poet in what we have been given to be Bacon's life's output.

But enough of my musings. Thank you for sharing and if intended I look forward to reading your next draft (do you have a place of publication in mind?)

By the way, some feedback on housekeeping. Whilst it is appreciated that you may be keen to engage in conversation on the matters you raise, its not good practice around here to post the same content multiple times or open up repeat threads. Sometimes what we offer up may not generate immediate responses and sometimes people may find the subject so specialist that they feel they have nothing to add that would be worthy of comment. But that doesn't mean what you say hasn't been noticed. I for one appreciate the care, thought and lucidity that has gone into your work but as the C's have rightly said, creativity itself is the only reward we should aspire to - whether its outcomes be noticed and acknowledged by others or not. Thus we learn to offer up freely and then accept what comes with a more philosophical view, even if what comes appears temporarily at least to be a whole lot of silence! Patience as they say is a virtue :-).
 

Ukridge

A Disturbance in the Force
Thank you for the opportunity to read your draft paper Ukbridge and yes I very much enjoyed it. The issue of authorship has also been one of my areas of interest though I have rather let it fall by the wayside of late. Still, I take his significant if not primary contribution to the 'Shake-speare Project' as very much a given at this stage (even mainstream academia is finally giving ground on the matter - have you read Barry Clarke's 'Francis Bacon's Contribution to Shakespeare' published in 2019 by of all people Routledge yet?)

Though you only touch on a few of Raglan's list of 22 attributes in this article, can I assume you have developed Baconian mirrors to all the remainder or is that still a work in progress? I'd certainly be interested to read more if you have. Is it your intention to flesh this draft out any further or is this relatively short overview as far as you plan to take this?

By the way, I was relieved to also read how swiftly you moved on from Freud (or Fraud as he should be known) and Jung to Neuman's more perceptive assessment of the root of the hero archetype, though even here I would suggest he is writing of matters that have far deeper and older roots than he even suggests, belonging as they do to the cosmic battles - or as he puts it 'the archetypal wars of the gods' - that actually took place in the visible heavens over many millennia of cometary interaction with earth, as well as (in the case of the planet that acted as a comet, Mars, and the comet that became a planet, Venus) the intervention of other cosmic bodies and phenomena that have long since departed our skies (though maybe long overdue a return visit!) and which were perceived by our ancestors as 'heroic' saviours. It is my suspicion that Bacon and his compatriots of the whole Shakespeare scam knew much about such origins and indeed in particular you can find these archetypal patterns embedded at the deepest levels of the plays. Not that he understood any of this but Ted Hughe's masterpiece 'Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being', is the only utterly vital book I've read on the cannon that fully and cohesively presents them as soul dramas designed to heroically heal a primal cosmic fault whose origins can be found in both the Fall and to humankind's self-defining relationship to the above. After an inexcusable deletion from the catalogue its been recently reissued after a decade or more of exile. A most timely read for those who wish to dig down into the subterranean basement of the primal purpose of 'Shake-speare'.

I'm still on the fence concerning the accusation that Bacon is responsible for the separation of science and poesy (left brain/right brain). In my reading he tried to unify them by setting them different but complementary tasks in the healing and making whole again process he set out to inspire. The fault to my mind came with those after who, failing to grasp the subtleties of his distinction between say Natural and Observational Science, took the latter and just ran with it at the exclusion of the more important, philosophically profound former concept (and of course one with truly ancient roots). Having said that Bacon's excessively analytical mind is easy to misinterpret; the only issue that still makes me hesitate with regard to the authorship issue is the often impenetrable and overly formal nature of his prose. For many I know this is the biggest barrier between the shimmering, rhythmically driven pen of the bard and the dry formality and - to the modern mind - leaden, overly worthy style of Bacon. It was said that his genius extended to being able to effortlessly create totally distinct writing styles for whatever the need and form... but it remains a challenge to find any hint of the playwright and poet in what we have been given to be Bacon's life's output.

But enough of my musings. Thank you for sharing and if intended I look forward to reading your next draft (do you have a place of publication in mind?)

By the way, some feedback on housekeeping. Whilst it is appreciated that you may be keen to engage in conversation on the matters you raise, its not good practice around here to post the same content multiple times or open up repeat threads. Sometimes what we offer up may not generate immediate responses and sometimes people may find the subject so specialist that they feel they have nothing to add that would be worthy of comment. But that doesn't mean what you say hasn't been noticed. I for one appreciate the care, thought and lucidity that has gone into your work but as the C's have rightly said, creativity itself is the only reward we should aspire to - whether its outcomes be noticed and acknowledged by others or not. Thus we learn to offer up freely and then accept what comes with a more philosophical view, even if what comes appears temporarily at least to be a whole lot of silence! Patience as they say is a virtue :-).

Hi Michael-

Many thanks for the feedback, if I was a pest I apologize. Excited about the material and I think it's significant. I do have Barry's recent book, one of the few I brought to Mexico, it's very good.

Yes Bacon was capable of writing in a variety of styles and languages, he started writing at Cambridge and published two books upon leaving, The Anatomie of the Minde and Anti-Machiavel; they have extensive parallels with each other, but one is in English and the other in French. He also wrote in Latin and other languages, sometimes he even wrote correspondence for his friends, according to their individual styles. He was very versatile, and in something well over 1,000 places, Shakespeare is literally Bacon's prose versified, there are several compilations of parallelisms.

Also remember what T.S. Eliot said, real poets do not look like poets, and

‘Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality.’

An odd statement perhaps, but Eliot was the best poet in the 20th century, without question, so even his more eccentric pronouncements are worth considering. He thought Hamlet was an artistic failure, I disagree but I'm no Eliot.
 
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