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Robert Burns

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People have made entire careers off the belief in and practices of astrology. The idea of the stars determining our fate has withheld people's interest for centuries. Robert Burns, an Aquarius, was very anti-superstition. He had almost no belief in astrological predictions or zodiac signs. There is some humor in this though, because through Burns' poems and songs this pseudoscience shows just how accurate it can be. The most parallel example of Burns' personality and his Aquarius sign can be seen in the work The Fornicator.

Robert Burns was born January 25, 1759, son to a dirt poor farmer and a mother who never learned to write her own name. He held many jobs before making a name for himself as a poet, to include a farmer and excise officer. Burns was famed for his poetry and songs and has been called Scotland's answer to Shakespeare. He was also renowned for his excessive drinking and womanizing, one such biographer, Ian McIntyre, remarked that Burns was "incapable of addressing a woman, on paper or in the flesh, without placing a hand on her thigh." It was also reported that he fathered over a dozen children in and out of marriage. The official reason for Burns' death was rheumatic heart disease, but it is often attributed to the bottle. Upon death critics and obituary writers labeled him a "drunkard."

Aquarius, the zodiac symbol assigned to those born between January 21 and February 19. Traditional Aquarian traits are that they are: friendly and humanitarian, original and inventive, independent and intellectual. Some negative aspects of Aquarians are that they can be: intractable and contrary, perverse and unpredictable, unemotional and detached. Aquarians generally possess strong and attractive personalities. They can fall into two categories: one shy, sensitive, gentle and patient; the other exuberant, lively and exhibitionist, sometimes hiding the depth of their character under a cloak of frivolity. Among the faults to which Aquarians are liable are: fanatical eccentricity, wayward egotism, excessive detachment and an inclination to retreat from life and society.

The poem the Fornicator speaks to all the young gentlemen of Burns era and today's male audience. This piece is about Burns referring to himself as a fornicator and impregnating a girl, Elizabeth Paton, out of wed lock. There is an air of sarcasm and regret throughout the poem; not some much about impregnating the woman but having to deal with the hassles of potentially being bogged down with a child.

The way this poem expresses Burns' Aquarian status is evident throughout. Firstly to be able to be a great poet Burns had to be



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