Bertrand Russell is one of the greatest masters of English Prose.

  • Length: 821 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Bertrand Russell is one of the greatest masters of English Prose.

Bertrand Russell is one of the greatest masters of English Prose. He revolutionized not only the subject matter but also the mode of expression. He has in him a happy blend of greatest philosopher and a great writer. He was awarded Nobel Prize for literature in 1950. The subject matter of his essays may be very difficult but his manner of expression is so lucid and simple that even a layman can understand him without any special difficulty. It is a rare privilege which only few prose masters enjoy. The precision and clarity which Russell’s prose style possesses are very rare in the bulk of English prose.

Russell has justly been regarded as one of the great prose stylists of the 20th century. Although he is not a literary writer yet his work devoted mainly to problems of philosophy, ethics, morality, political, social life and economics, etc. impresses us greatly by its literary qualities.

Of course, Russell's style sometimes becomes difficult for the average reader who comes across sentences which he has read for more than once in order to get the meaning. Russell’s style appeals mainly to our intellects and very little to our feelings or emotions. He uses words simply as tools, to convey his meaning plain and effective and not to produce any special effects. It is not a coloured or gorgeous style. Nor is there any passion in it. It is somewhat cold.

There are no “jeweled phrases” in his writings nor sentences over which we would like to linger with the aesthetic pleasure. Russell’s style is intellectually brilliant. He can condense an idea or a thought in a few words if he so desires. Russell is always direct, simple and lucid. He knows that the complexity of expression leads to ambiguity. Nothing can be more lucid than such opening lines:

“Happiness depends partly upon external circumstances and partly upon oneself.”

“Of all the institutions that have come down to us from the past, none is so disorganized and derailed as the family.”

Russell’s sentences clearly show Bacon’s terseness. They are replete with so deep thoughts like those of Bacon that we may elaborate them in countless pages. Many sentences are like proverbs, replete with deep meanings like:

“Extreme hopes are born of extreme misery.”

“One of the most powerful sources of false belief is envy.”

“Pride of a race is even more harmful than national pride.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Bertrand Russell is one of the greatest masters of English Prose.." 26 May 2018
Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on Critique of Is there a God? by Bertrand Russell - The article “Is there a God?” was written by Russell in 1952 at the request of a London magazine; however, it was not published (547-548). Russell, an advocate of science, was known for his unconventional views and social criticism (“Irvine”). This article came at a time when science was finally establishing significant ground. Discoveries in the 20th century such as the theory of relativity, evolution and quantum mechanics meant that people were finally looking towards scientists for answers (Polanyi)....   [tags: Atheism, Article Critique]
:: 5 Works Cited
1897 words
(5.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Problems Of Philosophy, by Bertrand Russell Essay - The value of Philosophy is, in fact, to be sought largely in its uncertainty. The man who has no tincture of Philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from the convictions which have grown up in his mind without the co-operation of his deliberate reason. Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy. Philosophy is commonly thought of as an activity reserved for Oxbridge high- brows; or a sort of intellectual table-tennis indulged in by the Ancient Greeks to while the time away before television came along....   [tags: The Problems Of Philosophy Essays] 1132 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Bertrand Russell on Analytical Philsophy Essay - "The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it" - Bertrand Russell, The Philosophy of Logical Atomism. Bertrand Russell was born in 1872 in Wales, England as a member of a famous British family. He received a degree from Trinity Cambridge College with honors in Mathematics and Moral Sciences. His most famous works included the subjects of logic and philosophy, which were deeply rooted in his mathematics background....   [tags: Philosophy] 1132 words
(3.2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Bertrand Russell on Critical Thinking Essay - Bertrand Russell on Critical Thinking The ideal of critical thinking is a central one in Russell's philosophy, though this is not yet generally recognized in the literature on critical thinking. For Russell, the ideal is embedded in the fabric of philosophy, science, liberalism and rationality, and this paper reconstructs Russell's account, which is scattered throughout numerous papers and books. It appears that he has developed a rich conception, involving a complex set of skills, dispositions and attitudes, which together delineate a virtue which has both intellectual and moral aspects....   [tags: Critical Thinking Essays] 4358 words
(12.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Analysis of Bertrand Russell´s The Problems of Philosphy Essay - ... Sense data are correlated to the objects they represent. However the exact correlation between the two is indistinct. The doubting side vies that sense data show us nothing about the certainty of an object. Russell had a rational take on the problem; while he understood the doubtful opinions, he found no reason to rely on them. A thousand individual and different spectators may have a thousand different kinds of sense data for a given table, yet all of them contend that they are observing at the same chair....   [tags: objects, problems, environment, believe] 1035 words
(3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Bertrand Russell - Bertrand Russell Introduction Bertrand Russell was one of the preeminent thinkers of the 20th century. His work on mathematical logic laid the basis for a good portion of modern mathematics; his political thought was influential both in his time and after; and his philosophical thought is both complicated and highly intelligent. He is considered one of the two or three most important logicians of the 20th century. During his lifetime he was a high profile figure and grew to have a high degree of respectability -- in fact, he died at age 97, in 1970, so during his own lifetime he saw his own fame grow to immense proportions....   [tags: Biography Biographies] 5286 words
(15.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Bertrand Russell and Saint Thomas Aquinas’s Arguments on God's Existence - In this paper I will be exploring two arguments on the topic of the existence of God. In particular, I will focus on Saint Thomas Aquinas’s efficient causation argument for God’s existence and an objection to it from Bertrand Russell. After an analysis of Aquinas’s argument and a presentation of Russell’s objection, I will show how Russell’s objection fails. Aquinas says there are five ways to prove that God exists and one of them is through efficient causation. He starts with the premise that every effect we observe must have been caused by something else....   [tags: causation, unchanging, world]
:: 2 Works Cited
595 words
(1.7 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Appearance versus Reality in Bertrand Russell's The Problems of Philosophy - Appearance versus Reality in Bertrand Russell's The Problems of Philosophy Bertrand Russell's method of approaching his subject in Problems of Philosophy embraces the Cartesian technique of radical doubt, in which the author revokes any former assumptions about certain reality and existence. In the first chapters, Russell's enquiry into the nature of reality in comparison to appearance begins with the observation of his immediate surroundings. By examining a table, for example, he determines that the table's colour, texture, and shape are sufficient to prompt doubt as to whether or not the table exists....   [tags: Philosophy Religion Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
493 words
(1.4 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Philosophy: Bertrand Russell vs William James Essay - Bertrand Russell discussed certain problems he found with philosophy. Russell was concerned about how much did we really know. There is the stuff we know with our mind when we have a particular idea, and stuff we know through actually experiencing it which would justify it. But how do we know if it is real, or even there, for that matter. Russell says, “For if we cannot be sure of the independent existence of object, we cannot be sure of the independent existence of other people’s bodies, and therefore still less of other peoples minds, since we have no grounds for believing in their minds except such as are derived from observing their bodies” (Russell, 47)....   [tags: essays research papers] 1023 words
(2.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Pre 1914 Prose Essay - Pre 1914 Prose Prose is the writing style of text such as a story and in this essay I will evaluate the use of the writing style in pre 1914 mystery prose and the way in which it is creates an effective atmosphere for the reader and how different to the modern, writing style of today. The four examples of pre 1914 prose which I will use to outline the use of mystery prose are "The Red Room" by H.G. Wells, "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens, "The Adventures of the Speckled Band" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W....   [tags: Literature Prose Style] 1188 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches

Russell’s quotations from the Bible, Shakespeare, Roman and Greek writers are harmoniously woven into the texture of his thoughts. The Biblical phrases and quotations lend sublimity to his prose and make his style scholarly. Russell manipulates such allusiveness in order to make his ironical onslaughts more effective.

Irony is a principal instrument of his style. He ironizes the so-called modern minded people. Russell makes frequent uses of wit and humour but his humour is generally not pure fun or frolic.

Russell writes chaste prose and there is a rationalistic approach to life. As a deep thinker and a man with scientific mood, he has infused into his style a new depth and a stream-like continuity and clarity.

His chief concern is to convey his ideas to his readers. That is why his prose style exhibits his balanced personality. ‘Style is the man’ applies to him more logically.

Russell makes long sentences to pour out his feelings with a poetic flash. He thinks deeply and expresses the matter in a logical manner. The sentence is definitely long but the main link of the thought is not broken anywhere. All subordinate clause move towards the main clause with the definite aim of making the sense more clear. No part of the syntax is loose.

Russell does not use metaphors and similes frequently. To him, they are the matter of necessity. These are to be used only when there is a dire necessity of using them. Russell makes a great use of the art of rhetoric to emphasize his point. He does not make his rhetoric pompous and exaggerated.

Bertrand Russell always argues his case in a strictly logical manner and his aim always is exactitude or precision. As far as possible, he never leaves the reader in any doubt about what he has to say. He stresses the need of rationality, which he calls scepticism in all sphere of life.

Each essay is logically well knit and self-contained. In each essay the development of the thought is continuous and strictly logical, with a close interconnection between one paragraph and another. It is a style best suited to an advocate. There are no superfluities in his style at all.

To conclude, Russell is one of the great prose writers of the last century, who wrote an almost all kinds of varied subjects with great force and confidence. The unity of his thoughts goes hand in hand with the unity of his style.

Return to