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Robert Burns creates a joyous mood in his poem "Tam O`Shanter".

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AMDG Breda Sweeney Tam O`Shanter 03-03-03 Robert burns creates a joyous mood in his poem "Tam O`Shanter". The poem deals with a drunken mans journey to a church, where he finds a dance of witches and warlocks, his emotional involvement with one of the witches and his escape from them. Although the moral of the story deals with the serious effects of alcohol, Burns treats the topic humorously and so creates a joyful mood. The poem is split into five sections. We first hear about Tams wife's prophecy, "O Tam, had`st but been sae wise, As taen thy wife Kate's advice!" We are then told about his journey through various paces associated with evil, in the foulest weather. ...read more.


One way he achieved this humour was by using an anti-climax when Tam reaches the church. Burns builds up the tension by listing sinister places, by using a speedy rhyme scheme, a fast metre, alliteration and onomatopoeia when describing Tams journey towards the church. When all these features are put together speed and tension is created. Whenever Tam reaches the church, this tension is deflated as we expect something really frightening and evil to be inside, but instead there is a party where strange creatures are dancing. This party in itself gives a very happy atmosphere and therefore relates back to the joyous mood that Burns has created. The devil, in the poem, is portrayed differently than the stereotypical character we would expect; he is a large Scots Terrier. ...read more.


Yet another technique used when bringing humour into the poem was when Burns used a mock-moralising tone. "But pleasures are like poppies spread: You seize the flower, its bloom is shed; ...amid the storm." At this point, Burns uses standard English as opposed to Scots as he is pretending to be serious. The English is so pompous compared to the Scots that we can't take it seriously, and therefore the humour of the whole poem is emphasised. Even the moral at the end is a joke. Although the topics and themes of Tam O'Shanter are very grave, it is hard not to read this poem and see the funny side. Burns` clever techniques emphasize this and rather than creating a depressing mood, a joyful, happy mood is formed. ...read more.

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