An Introduction to Archaism
Archaism (derives from the Greek word ‘archaïkós,’ literally means “old-fashioned,” or “antiquated”), is a rhetorical term which consists when placing particular emphasis on the past. In this instance, the device manifests itself in eulogies of the Classical period, its artOpens in new window, cultureOpens in new window and language, and often attempts to reproduce them.
In RhetoricOpens in new window, archaisms refer to words or languages of time past that are no longer used in contemporary discourses or writings. However, they are occasionally used in literary works to resonate the period in history in which the story is based.
Archaisms used in the poem are “hath,” “thou,” — an ancient variety of ‘has’ and ‘you’ respectively. Meanwhile the strange word “watchest” is employed as past participle for the word “watch.”