He was both a man of his time and of all time. He wouldn't have been human without flaws, and his egalitarian ideals have helped cement his universal and timeless appeal.
The Reverend Ian Galloway, convener of the Church of Scotland's Church and Society Council, said: "Rabbie Burns used his educational opportunities to the best possible effect, and was an inspiration for creativity. These are good attributes for any role model to have. All of us have human frailties and none of us are perfect.
Playwright Liz Lochhead said the poet should be celebrated for his work, not life-style. We don't look at him for a way to live our lives. We should enjoy Burns as a great poet whose work means a lot to a lot of people. Of course, I wouldn't look to him as a feminist role model, but he's not a role model, he's a great poet.
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Critical essays on Robert Burns
September 1, This essay provides a survey of these responses from to, revealing a consistent pattern of critical reception. Burns' fame still highlights this tension between his undeniable poetic gifts and his messy personal life, between his poetic aspirations and his complicated desires. In the estimation of Burns' late nineteenth-century editors W. Henley and T. His voice alone could improve upon the magic of his eye; sonorous, replete with the finest modulations, it alternately captivated the ear with the melody of poetic numbers, the perspicuity of nervous reasoning, or the ardent sallies of enthusiastic patriotism.
On nature, he soon began to gaze with new discernment and with new enthusiasm. But in the poetry of these people, while there was commonly some genuine effusions of the sentiments of agitated nature, some exhibition of such imagery as at once impressed itself upon the heart; there was also ever much to be excused in consideration of their ignorance, their want of taste, their extravagance of fancy, their want or abuse of the advantages of a liberal education.
Burns has no pardon to demand for defects of this sort. He might scorn every concession which we are ready to grant to his peculiar circumstances, without being, on this account, reduced to relinquish any part of his claims to the praise of poetical excellence. Though not as notorious as Heron, James Currie occupies a similar position as a promulgator of negative stereotypes of Burns. It is the language of a whole country,—long an independent kingdom, and still separate in its laws, character and manners. It is by no means peculiar to the vulgar; but is the common speech of the whole nation in early life.
The lowness of his birth, and habits of society, prevented rules of punctilious delicacy from making any part of his education. Low, ed. Kenneth Simpson East Linton: Tuckwell, ,