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 ?
But in more complex passages, Shakespeare uses sets of alliterative consonance to overlap, spread out over several lines, as in the following, where repeated words and alliteration echo throughout and emphasize the consonance of sound and sense:
Each letter is accompanied by a fun and sometimes quirky alliteration, illustrated with creative and colorful artwork to match.
One of V's favorite phrases - what with the ``v'' alliteration - it comes from Christopher Marlowe's ``The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus.
Alliteration is a favorite fancy of feuilletonist Ryann Connell.
Hebrew poetry may be the poetry that survives best in translation because, while there is alliteration and other poetic devices, the primary poetic force is thought rhyme, first noted by Bishop Lowth (also Professor of Poetry at Oxford) in the eighteenth century.
People consistently tried to work off of the name's English translation ("The Duvel is the Devil"), alliteration ("Duvel Dares"), rhyming ("Duvel will move you"), etc.
There are a million reasons a joke doesn't work," Butt points out, "like subtle distractions, rhythms in language and alliteration.
Her agile command of rhyme, meter, repetition, and alliteration on "Rowing Song" rivals traditional folk classics.
But the best part is the "Poetry 101" chapter--it teaches all about alliteration, onomatopoeia and skeltonic verse.
In the cause of alliteration, a serious medical condition for a much-loved public figure was reduced to a ludicrous put-down ``Bonkers Bruno.
Remember when you learned about alliteration in school?
Poets frequently use alliteration as a poetic device; the following are examples: