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Give an example in of alliteration in Anne Bradstreet's "To My Dear and Loving...

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dancenancy | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 13, 2010 at 6:22 AM via web

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Give an example in of alliteration in Anne Bradstreet's "To My Dear and Loving Husband"

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If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me ye women if you can.

I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee, give recompence.

Thy love is such I can no way repay,
The heavens reward thee manifold I pray.
Then while we live, in love let's so persever,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 2, 2011 at 10:35 PM (Answer #1)

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According to the "literary-terms" link, alliteration is a literary device in which the author uses the same initial sound in more than one word in (in this case) a line of poetry.  This usually means that the author is using the same letter to start the words, but sometimes it can be done with different letters which both have the same sound.

There are many examples of alliteration in this poem.  For example, in the first line, the author uses a "w" sound three times.  She uses the words "were," "one" and "we."  "One," of course, does not start with a "w," but it sounds as if it does.  Since alliteration depends on the sound and not the letter this is an example of alliteration.

One more example: in the next to the last line, the author uses "live," "love," and "let's."  All start with an "l" sound so this is alliteration as well.

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