Alliteration, onomatopoeia, assonance

Alibekova 2013 M04 28

Alliteration is a literary device that emphasizes on repetition of a particular consonant in the first syllables in a series of words. It is important to know that in alliteration, the sound of the...

Alliteration is a literary device that emphasizes on repetition of a particular consonant in the first syllables in a series of words. It is important to know that in alliteration, the sound of the words matter the most. It is extensively used in literature, particularly in poetry. Alliteration is like rhyming words.

Examples Of Alliteration

Alice's aunt ate apples and acorns around august.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Becky's beagle barked and bayed, becoming bothersome for Billy.

We felt dreary and dismal in the darkness of the night.

Carries cat clawed her couch, creating chaos.

She shouted and shooed the sheep to the shelter.

Dan's dog dove deep in the dam, drinking dirty water as he dove.

She sees sheep sleeping.

Show Shawn Sharon's shabby shoes.

Fred's friends fried Fritos for Friday's food.

Boil the butter and bring it by the bank.


The word 'onomatopoeia' originates from the Greek word, which means to create. An onomatopoeic word describes the source of a sound. These devices bring out the flavour from words giving the situation a lively feel. Common occurrences of onomatopoeia include animal noises or noises we hear in our everyday lives; the sound from a clock, door, phone etc. The onomatopoeic tool is used so commonly that evolve quickly into a new word, until the time it is no longer regarded as onomatopoeia but a part of vocabulary itself! Comic books and cartoon strips use this figure of speech extensively as the vivid nature of some of these words/phrases creates a real life effect. Advertising and media use onomatopoeia as a mnemonic because it helps the consumer to remember and relate to the products faster. Such is the power of sounds! So steer through the examples below and taste of essence of onomatopoeia.
Examples Of Onomatopoeia

My son swooshed the basketball into the net.

Shuffle the paper stack again properly.

Please do not whisper in the examination hall.

The owl hooted as it sat in the tree.

Boo. I scared you.

Meow, where's my milk, cried the cat.

The jangle of her bracelets caught his attention.

Click, click. She made a sound with her tongue to show her displeasure.

The rustle of the leaves startled the kids.

Pitter-patter rain drops are falling from the sky.

My teacher told me to shoosh, because I was making too much noise.

The door creaked open in the old mansion.

Examples Of Assonance

Assonance Examples In Poetry

'Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn'. In the above lines from the poem of William Wordsworth,the sound of 'o' is repeated to provide rhythm to the verse. Thus the sound of 'O' is the assonance in this verse.

The repeated sound of 'e's in Edgar Allan Poe's poem 'the bells' is another popular example of assonance. This excerpt from the poem proves the assonance, 'Hear the mellow wedding bells'

Another popular line from Edgar Allan Poe's poem 'The Raven' is "And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain". In this line, the sound 'ur' in 'purple' and 'curtain' is the assonance.

Poets like Lord Alfred Tennyson are known for using this literary device to its best. In the verse 'And murmuring of innumerable bees', the mounting of 'e' vowel into the reduced note of 'r' depicts the emotions in an excellent manner.

This is an instance of assonance from the Poem El Dorado from Edgar Allan Poe. This poem is as:
'Gaily bedight,
A gallant night
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of El Dorado.
But he grew old -
This knight so bold -
And - o'er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like El Dorado'.

Examples Of Assonance In Songs

The lyricists of the modern times give great importance to assonance in their songs. In this song from Nickelback, there are instances of assonance as 'I' in the first two lines is followed by 'e'. 
And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We'll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along

In the song 'Fade to Black', the beautiful and outstanding instances of assonance 'e' cannot be forgotten by lovers of literature. 
Life it seems will fade away
Drifting further every day 
Getting lost within myself
Nothing matters, no one else

Examples Of Assonance In Prose

Assonance need not be seen in songs or poetries only. There are times when prose writers repeat the vowel sounds to emphasize its meaning. In the following sentence, the sound 'o' is repeated. 'Poetry is old, ancient, goes back far. It is among the oldest of living things. So old it is that no man knows how and why the first poems came'.

In the sentence 'I blew the balloon', the sound 'oo' is repeated and kept close together to create a rhythm.

Difficult Assonance Examples

There are times when the instances of assonance are harder to locate on account of them being rather subtle. The higher sounds increase their level of energy in prose while the longer vowel sounds such as longer O's and A's subside to provide a more sober mood.

The following lines from, a Cormac McCarthy's novel, describe the quandary of a mother who discovers a site where a baby has been murdered. "And stepping softly with her air of blooded ruin about the glade in a frail agony of grace she trailed her rags through dust and ashes, circling the dead fire, the charred billets and chalk bones, the little calcined ribcage."

In this sentence, words such as 'glade', 'grace', 'trailed', helps in maintaining the chilling mood of the work; the same effect is repeated and highlighted at the end with the word 'ribcage'.

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Good job, Dinara! Your presentation is full of examples, especially examples of assonance in prose,songs and poetry. You just forgot to add links.
1TZW8kBd48NAboFpEexNJbdQch0Ie5.jpg everything is clear. I think even link are not nessesary. Informative.
No links ARE necessary, we do not want to steal somebode else's ideas!!!
Thank you, Dinara! all information is interesting. Mostly, I liked the information about assonance in prose and songs) Also, the examples of onomatopoeia are funny and clearly demonstrate this device.
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