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 ?
Here Grendel is given words to speak in which the first stressed syllable of what we would call the a-verse if we were describing Old English poetry alliterates with the first stressed syllable of the following b-verse, and there is more to his use of repeated sounds than this, as we can also hear if we read his words aloud with forceful aspiration.
Waning" rather than "glimmering" would retain the assonance with "same," "bare" (for some speakers), and "place," and alliterate with "watcher," but, like "stained," seems too pointedly negative.
Two key words in these statements alliterate with each other: the word for "prayer," s[check{s}][[contains].
The technical label for such behavior consists of the word aliterate, which Microsoft Word unfortunately autocorrects to alliterate.
It is true that Hogni's name does not alliterate with those of his three supposed siblings and their father, also that his name, unlike theirs, is absent from the ancient Burgundian law codes.
All the more reason why parents should think carefully about the outcome of pairing them with first names that either rhyme or alliterate, compounding the awkwardness.
Without having made a systematic search for this kind of change, I find 73 alliterating lines in Caligula revised in Otho in such a way that they no longer alliterate (8 of these revisions reduce four-stave lines to three-stave lines, and 65 of these reduce three-stave lines to two-stave lines or lines without alliteration at all).
The alliteration is determined by the first stressed syllable in the second stave of the line (called the headstave); the fourth stressed syllable will never alliterate with the other stressed syllables.
For example, I don't always employ alliteration, and sometimes I alliterate only in one half of the line.
Bathed" and "blithe" alliterate with "bare," but also support each other's connotations.
I wish to argue that the line need not be read simply as a throwaway, in which Langland tossed in 'Corlew' because he needed the name of a bird which would alliterate with kynde.
In this case the first lines of each of the four following stanzas in the group alliterate on d, as does the first line of the next group: The dubbement dere of downez and dalez (1.