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 ?
A first chapter provides an overview of colonial legislation and policy; subsequent chapters treat in roughly chronological order (also with alliterative titles) "cholera and commerce," "medicalizing Mecca," and "politics and the pilgrimage.
I recently published an A to Z collection of alliterative verse entitled Alliteration, Again and Again.
Mueller (English, University of Massachusetts-Boston) analyzes the aristocratic political overtones of Middle English alliterative poems that went against the notion that the English people were the descendants of the ancient Trojans of Greece.
THE SPECTER of a liberal media bias sprang forth into popular culture with Spiro Agnew's paranoid alliterative defense of the Vietnam War back in 1969.
Aided by percussion wizard and erstwhile producer Kris Jenkins, plus guitarist Gid Goudry - whose metronomic guitar playing was as splendid as his alliterative moniker, Guto chopped out the rotational grooves, as Lindsey's haunting vocals were occupied by the kohl-eyed spirit of Velvet Underground chanteuse, Nico.
I've heard this 'Glee for grownups' thing and yes, it's a nice alliterative sentence, I suppose," he says.
They nearly all spotted the alliterative title and one or two noticed the street spelling of 'gangsta'.
Catchy, pun-filled, alliterative heads were all a part of every copy editor's arsenal.
religious prose, histories, verse chronicles, saints' lives, Anglo-Norman romances, drama, English Romances, early fourteenth century alliterative poems and so on.
8220;I made it clear the lead song with its alliterative title is an 'anthem of American Angst' that all Americans, no matter their politics, should rally behind in these troubled times, more challenging than when I first wrote the song twenty years ago.
But Toxteth works for alliterative purposes, if you want to write things like 'Toxteth terror'.
She fills the book with delicious language and "tastes to make your tongue tingle," the alliterative effect, when read aloud, itself tingling on the tongue.