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.
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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The first four lines alliterate on all four beats, which the poets of the 14th-century alliterative revival--but never Old English poets--sometimes did.
Although the first syllable of "overseas" is in a position of iambic metrical stress, in Anglo-Saxon verse, prefixes such as "over-" ("ofer-" in Old English) are always unstressed; hence the alliterative stress falling on the "s" sound in "overseas" Similarly, the iambically stressed "still" does not alliterate because, in alliterative verse, prepositions tend not to be stressed; and though "swarmed" is iambically unstressed, in alliterative verse, where unstressed syllables are largely discretionary, verbs, especially significant ones, are more likely to be stressed.
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.
We say that kids must learn to read, but if they do not like to read and do not read unless they are forced to, then they are alliterate (those who can read but do not).
In a hundred and forty-one bouncy quatrains, it tells how an expedition sails away to follow a blank chart, on a ship manned by a captain and crew all of whose names alliterate: a Bellman, a Butcher, a Baker, a Banker, a Broker, a Barrister, a Boots, a Bonnetmaker, a Billiard-marker, and a Beaver.
Unlike so often, this effect cannot be blamed on the writer's quest for material that would alliterate: "knarrez" appears in a line where the alliterant is "w".
Words twist, alliterate, rhyme and change as the reader is invited to participate in what feels like a private joke.
companies on the same day, October 12, which press releases called "$2 Million Tuesday." Settlements, which were paid in addition to back usage fees, totaled just over $2.2 million, but that didn't alliterate as well, according to Bob Kruger, the alliance's vice president of enforcement.
Here, we are not dealing with illiterate people in the traditional meaning of the word; we are dealing with "alliterate" people--those who have the ability to read and write but who may choose not to do so.
Interpreting that work invariably runs up against the double-bind of needing to alliterate, and of making sense of the plural verb.
charts will be useful for medieval scholars as well, who will recognize the similar style of medieval commentaries, which involves a kind of lexico-syntactic associative echoing, at once ornamental and magical, that fits words together that iterate, alliterate or assonate in order to stress the mutual relationship of their nomen and essentia--phenomena seen in texts as diverse as Beowulf, Welsh alliterative poetry, the 14th century Chide moralise?, even Jean-Paul Sartre's The Flies (character's names reflect their essence).
Ugbomah's reference to Izaga, Izizi, and Iyege is a derogatory reference to the alliterate titles of many "ritual" and "epic" films, aside from which there is also the question of the obligatory special effects used in the so-called epics to make them sell.