In Evelina by Frances Burney, Rev. Mr. Villars' letters to Evelina as well as Sir John Belmont's addresses to Evelina or generally his speech during their meetings are often heavy with use of archaic language and pronouns. For example:

Wilt thou, in obedience to her will, own for thy father the destroyer of thy mother?

I believe such language had fallen out of ordinary use by the time the novel was written. Does this language then mark the style of romanticism? What does using archaic language signify in these particular passages? Language aside, the meetings between Evelina and Sir John often become too theatrical and melodramatic with characters dropping to their knees and shouting all that they say which seems to diverge in style from the rest of the novel. Is this practice seen in other novels of the romanticism era?

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    Mr Villars is a clergyman. This style of language, though not used in everyday life, was familiar to many English people right up to the mid-20th century from the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, both routinely used in Anglican (Church of England) church services until that time. He is probably using it to emphasise the serious nature of what he is saying. Aug 18, 2023 at 8:44


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