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 ?
The years 2016 and 2017 have respectively witnessed the publication of two stimulating Cambridge University Press monographs on medieval English literary history: Eric Weiskott's English Alliterative Verse: Poetic Tradition and Literary History (2016) and Ian Cornelius's Reconstructing Alliterative Verse: The Pursuit of a Medieval Meter (2017).
Like Auden, he modifies alliterative meter for his own unique purposes.
Within this larger objective, Reconstructing Alliterative Verse has two basic aims: first, to situate recent metrical scholarship in the theoretical context of the last two centuries, and, second, to demystify the verse for nonspecialists, explaining why the alliterative meter, as attested in both Old and Middle English, has been so resistant to theorization.
This original, well-written, and well-argued study is the latest to challenge the monolithic view--popular when I was in graduate studies in the 1970s--of the so-called 'Middle English Alliterative Revival'.
Beowulf is an Old English epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines.
Perhaps more controversially, the next essay, by Ralph Hanna and Thorlac Turville-Petre, questions the kind of profile that can be built up around the Thornton scribe by analysis of the codicological assumptions and editorial method underlying the standard modern edition of the alliterative Morte Arthure, published in 1984.
Even 'Mayor of Mercia' has an appealing alliterative sound.
But the endless, alliterative phrases for sex and countless in-your-face sight gags dilute the characters and turn the mood wearingly lewd.
DEATH IN PARADISE BBC1, 9pm Sun, sea and a surgeon's suspected suicide - alliterative ingredients of the final episode of this current series.
mumble the alliterative forms of love, an office in the rain: hair,
In the past, Clinical Chemistry has published a number of alliterations and articles with alliterative titles (e.g., "Nanotechnologic nutraceuticals: nurturing or nefarious?").
Today, we're launching our latest alliterative political page, the Davis Digest.