1 Answer | Add Yours
Alliteration is the repetition of a consonant sound within a line of poetry. Alliteration, when used in Anglo-Saxon poetry, was used to insure the musical quality of the lyrical and elegiac poems. The poetry and epics of the Anglo-Saxon period were historically sung (by scops) given the lack of a universal written language. The alliteration helped to insure the musical quality of the poems.
The alliteration of the w, r, and s in lines 59-62 of "The Seafarer" insured the liquid sound of the lines. Since the lines in question contain specific images of water (waterways, whale path, widely, and world), the w and r illustrate the realistic and fluid movement of water. The repetition of the letters also insures the reader's fluid movement through the lines (which, again, mirrors the movement of water).
We’ve answered 287,966 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question