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What would be an example of alliteration from The Crucible?I can't find anything in the...

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janielagandaon | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 27, 2009 at 5:39 AM via web

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What would be an example of alliteration from The Crucible?

I can't find anything in the book that uses alliteration.  It's driving me nuts.  I found everything from foil, simile, metaphor, symbolism, but no alliteration.

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 28, 2009 at 10:31 AM (Answer #1)

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Alliteration is the repetition of the initial sounds in words that are close to one another in lines or sentences of a work.  In The Crucible, alliteration does not play a major role, but a good example of the device appears at the play's end.  When Rev. Hale begs Elizabeth to persuade her husband to confess and save his life, she responds,

"He have his goodness now."

With the emphasis on pronouns for John, Elizabeth demonstrates that she realizes that only John can be responsible for himself, and the repetition of the sounds for those pronouns and on the sentence's verb reiterates that truth.

Another example of alliteration from the same act (Act 4) occurs in Rev. Hale's powerful speech to Elizabeth. At this point, he begins his initial attempt to persuade Elizabeth to save her husband's life.  He uses phrases such as "like a bridegroom to his beloved, bearing gifts," "bright confidence," and  "faith brings blood." These strong "b" sounds capture the audience's attention when the play is performed and add to the power of Hale's persuasion.

There are more examples throughout the play; just look for repetition of initial sounds through the characters' longer speeches.

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