alliteration

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alliteration

(əlĭt'ərā`shən), the repetition of the same starting sound in several words of a sentence. Probably the most powerful rhythmic and thematic uses of alliteration are contained in Beowulf, written in Anglo-Saxon and one of the earliest English poems extant. For example:
Ða com of more under mist-hleopum
Grendel gongan; Godes yrre baer …
(Then came from the moor, under the misty hills,
Grendel stalking; the God's anger bare).
Beowulf, Book XI
The poet was drawing here on an even older Germanic tradition, just as he was setting a high standard for other poets in Anglo-Saxon, who produced such alliterative works as Widsith, Deor's Lament, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, and The Ruin. Although the tradition lay dormant for centuries, an alliterative revival occurred in England in the mid-1400s, as evidenced by such masterworks as Piers Plowman and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (see Langland, WilliamLangland, William,
c.1332–c.1400, putative author of Piers Plowman. He was born probably at Ledbury near the Welsh marshes and may have gone to school at Great Malvern Priory. Although he took minor orders he never became a priest.
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; Pearl, ThePearl, The,
one of four Middle English alliterative poems, all contained in a manuscript of c.1400, composed in the West Midland dialect, almost certainly by the same anonymous author, who flourished c.1370–1390.
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). Shakespeare parodies alliteration in Peter Quince's Prologue in A Midsummer Night's Dream:
Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,
He bravely breach'd his boiling bloody breast.
Modern poets have continually renewed the possibilities of alliteration, e.g., Gerard Manley Hopkins's "Pied Beauty":
Glory be to God for dappled things …
Landscapes plotted and pieced—fold, fallow and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

alliteration

the use of the same consonant (consonantal alliteration) or of a vowel, not necessarily the same vowel (vocalic alliteration), at the beginning of each word or each stressed syllable in a line of verse, as in around the rock the ragged rascal ran
References in periodicals archive ?
My quest was to explore the possibilities of writing alliterations with words beginning with each letter of the alphabet.
Alliteration is the repetition of the same letter at the beginning of words.
Our discipline, clinical chemistry, is rich with examples of alliteration.
As a public service event adding another C to Hasegawa's litany of alliterations, namely coziness, the event took on an inscrutable atmosphere somewhere between the gratuitous and the self-referential.
Three groups of verbal effects are particularly important: alliterative consonances, complex alliterations, and a group of other figures of echo and repetition.
In other words, the alliterative consonance, as well as some of the complex alliterations discussed below, seems at the least to emphasize certain key ideas not otherwise specifically stressed.
Simple alliteration of two words is such a normal part of English that it is often hard to tell if the alliterations are intended for an effect or merely coincidental.
Considerations such as alliterations, acronyms, special family members, place names, biblical names, new-age names, musical names, and names representing distinguishing qualities like faith, hope or charity are routinely worked into the lists.
For example, "Beneath Your Skin," which appears in Spanish as "Bajo tu piel," maintains the same structure, but the alliterations that occur in the English version cause the reader to slow and pause, perhaps due to the sibilance of alliterations focused on the s sound.
The true subtlety, complexity, and variety of that interaction are well illustrated by Nabokov's own alliterations in chapter 1, as even a small selection of examples should demonstrate:
Alliteration of initial sounds or syllables is frequently accompanied by medial or final alliterations that either echo the initial groupings or establish new linkages, thereby creating a harmonious acoustic environment, a rich choir of sound, that prevents the strong initial alliterations, especially when they involve close adjective-noun pairings, from overpowering the sense (as they might do in euphuistic prose) or interfering with some other device, such as a lexical or figurative one.