Summary and Theme of the Essay Sir Roger at Assizes by Joseph Addison
Assize: Assize is a court of county town. It is visited by the judges from higher courts.
Sir Roger is a fictional character created by Joseph Addison. He represents old knight. The essay Sir Roger at Assizes by Joseph Addison begins with the explanation of Sir Roger. The essay is narrative as well as satirical.
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The essay brings a day of Sir Roger. The essayist explains that Sir Roger is the best kind of man. He is known for pleasing and kind behavior in his life. His neighborhood used to know him as a charming and generous fellow. He was a peaceful person. He has public support. He has the capacity to decide right and wrong. He was free from personal and public criticism.
The narrator remembers an incident of a journey. His friend, Old Knight(Sir Roger) took him and Will Wimble for a court session. They went towards the country for the session. On their journey, they met two gentlemen.
Sir Roger gives details about the gentlemen to the narrator. They were a farmer (Yeoman) and a good neighbour. There was another person on their journey, he was Tom Touchy. He was known for his notorious activity of taking legal action to all.
Tom helped to execute two honest men for their simple mistake. They destroyed his fences. As a result, Tom took legal action against them. At last, Tom became financially weak due to his habit of taking legal action for minor cases.
Will Wimble and Tom wasn’t happy with Will Wimble’s action of fishing in the river. Will Wimble and Tom asked Sir Roger for his opinion on the issue. Sir Roger gave balance judgement on the action of fishing in the river. He didn’t take any side. They became happy for his judgement.
After attending the court session, the group returned back. On their way, they stopped at an inn. They wanted to refresh themselves. They came to know that the owner of the inn was Sir Roger’s former servant.
Without asking permission from Sir Roger, the servant had painted his master’s head on the board. After knowing it, Sir Roger brought a painter to bring changes on it. He said that Duke is above him, so it is not suitable to hang his head on the board. He wanted to change the board. The painter added whisker on the picture.
But the new painting still looked like Sir Roger. He wanted to get views on it. The narrator also used the same technique of the old knight to give view on it. Instead of giving exact view, he gave balance view on it.
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