Most Recent

banner image



Archaism, Archaism in English language, Archaic Words, Archaism in Literature, What is Archaism

      Archaism is the use of writing that is today considered outdated or old-fashioned. Archaism derived from Greek word ‘Arkhaios’ meaning 'ancient'. Archaic language in literature can be in the form of word, phrase or even the way sentence is formed.

       Archaism is also known as 'archaic diction' language evolve over the years. The English language written and spoken by Shakespeare was very different from English we use today. The use of archaic language is found in the literary works of ancient mediaeval ages as well as in Victorian. When you come across archaic language in Shakespeare, you are reading text that was in common use at that time. It was not considered archaic than(that time). It is considered as archaic now only.

        Archaism found to in most cultivated language may serve either of two purpose: to create a realistic impression of historical context by using word and style of that period or providing romantic atmosphere for the effect of mystery, poetry and impressionist aspect of history. Archaism is used by modern writers who are likely trying to simulate an older style of writing or to create an effect from Mimicked time.

       Example: Words like ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ considered as archaic. We do not use words like these in everyday speech, but readers are still familiar with them.

       Some archaic words still we use except the meaning have changed. For example: we hardly ever use 'fair' to mean beautiful, the more common meaning of fair is remarkable or good.

       William Thackeray  tried the realistic method in his novel Esmond to give the right historical atmosphere for the reign of queen Anne. Scott in his novel Ivanhoe used the romantic method to suggest an old world background, since the actual language of his character must have been quite unreproducible. Spencer used archaic to suggest the atmosphere of his Faerie. Such efforts as the above named and occasional use of archaic element in their language have left permanent marks on the literary language.

       Spencer revived the meaning of the Middle English word faerie which has originally signified 'the place of magical being' and the word with new connotations become part of the language of romantic English poetry. On the other hand same Spencer revived for particular description of the supernatural beast(old word in modified form as blatant. Now these word blatant has passed with much changed of meaning into common spoken English as well as into the literary language. Similarly Spence used the archaic coinage  'Derring-do' from reading a passage of the fifteen century poet Chaucer.

       Archaism has originally enriched the English language, but naturally this influence cannot be said very widespread of deep except in certain ephemeral aspect.

Archaic words:
Behold – Observe
Fair – Beautiful
Fruit – Offspring
Yea – Yes
Naught – Nothing
In sooth – Actually

There is a difference in ‘Archaic’ and ‘Obsolete’. Obsolete language refers to words and phrase that are never used anymore whereas Archaisms refers to language that is still in use for some specific purpose.

So, this is general explanation of Archaism


Archaism Archaism Reviewed by Yusuf Delair on December 24, 2019 Rating: 5

No comments:

Flickr Widget

Powered by Blogger.