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Explain the terms alliteration and assonance?

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lillyan | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted April 23, 2011 at 4:13 PM via web

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Explain the terms alliteration and assonance?

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indub | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 23, 2011 at 7:17 PM (Answer #1)

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Dictionary meaning of alliteration is repetition of the same first letter in a group of words.

It is the repetition of identical or similar consonant sounds, normally at the beginning of words.

Coming up with alliterative phrases (rubber baby buggy bumpers, anyone?) can be a fun game, but it can also be a great literary device, and many authors have used it to subtly enhance the meaning of their words.

For example, the third stanza of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven begins with the repeated use of an s sound (a special type of alliteration called sibilance), which mimics the "uncertain rustling" that he's writing about. In the second line, he continues the alliteration, only this time with thef sound.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

Assonance-Identity or similarity of sounds between internal vowels in neighboring words.For example on a proud round cloud in white high night.

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