In “Letter XXV,” Haywood writes a letter from Theano to Elismonda. Reading the letter, the reader can clearly tell that Theano is madly in love with Elismonda. The fact that Haywood ends the letter with Theano writing, “My most loved, most Ador’d Elisamonda’s Constantly Zealous Votary, Theano” (Haywood 196) might as well be the final decal in the room Theano has built for Elismonda in his heart. Haywood’s use of the phrase “zealous votary” is one of the occasions where she re-enforces Theano’s love for Elismonda. Apart, the words “zealous” and “votary” don’t mean much. The Oxford English Dictionary defines zealous as “having or showing zeal,” (Oxford 1) which is “great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective” (1). Votary is defined as “a person, such as a monk or nun, who has made vows of dedication to religious service” (1). Haywood’s combination of the two terms is a metaphor for Theano’s devotion to Elismonda. He is constantly showing great enthusiasm in pursuit of Elismonda, who he views almost as a religion. He is a “votary,” but not as a monk or nun making ...
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... her and knows he would never cross her. Haywood’s response letter written from Elismonda to Theano uses select language and references to his letters to re-enforce the readers apprehension of the complete and utter love these two writers feel for each other.
Haywood uses metaphors and select word choices to help reinforce the sentiment between the writers to the reader in two letters, “Letter XXV” and “Letter XXVII” in her collection Love Stories on All Occasions from her novel Fantomina and Other Works. Unlike many works from this time frame, both Theano and Elismonda are madly in love with each other and desire each other greatly. This is a rare case of a happy couple in the age of Seduction Fiction, where most tales often ended in tragedy. Haywood’s account of Theano and Elismonda could be considered one of the bright stars in an otherwise cloudy night sky.
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