In the poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot, how are sound devices used?
T. S. Eliot uses sound in beautiful and intriguing ways in his poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." Three sound devices he uses are consonance, alliteration, and assonance. Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds, usually those that fall in the middle or at the end of words. Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds, and assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds. An example of consonance appears in the first stanza. Look at how many words have "s" and "t" or "st" sounds: let, against, patient, deserted, streets, muttering, retreats, restless, nights, hotels, sawdust, oyster, tedious, argument, insidious, intent, it, visit. The repetition of these sounds over and over again add to the quiet, even mysterious, feel of the evening being described. Alliteration can be found several places. Lines 17, 18, and 19 all start with a word that starts with "L": licked, lingered, let. This is another soft sound and lends a slow, easy, tired feeling that goes along with the scene. Another excellent use of alliteration occurs in line 56: "fix you in a formulated phrase." (Note that alliteration refers to sounds, not letters.) This repetition seems to reinforce the judgmental or critical attitude of those who Prufrock believes are analyzing him. Assonance occurs each time there is a rhyme because rhyming words have the same vowel sounds. Beyond that, however, certain vowel repetitions can help create a mood. In lines 120 and 121, the poem says: "I grow old . . . I grow old . . . / I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled." The long "O" sound reinforces the plaintive lament coming from the depths of J. Alfred Prufrock's being.