A Conversation for Selected Pretentious Literary Terminology

Alliteration and Assonance (and Consonance)

Post 1


Alliteration is to consonants as assonance is to vowels

This syllogism isn't completely accurate. Alliteration only applies to the beginning letter of words. .And if the beginning letter was a vowel, it would be both Alliteration and Assonance. e.g. An average aardvark ambled across an attractive anteater.

The true partner for assonance is consonance.

And as a side note for the poets -- assonance and consonance that aren't alliterative often end up being more powerful. That is, if the vowel or consonant that gets repeated doesn't begin the words, it's much less noticable, and the common reader may not realize why it sounds so good. Most readers will catch alliteration, and it can be very distracting.

Alliteration and Assonance (and Consonance)

Post 2

Emily 'Twa Bui' Ultramarine

I always remember the difference between alliteration and assonance through a quote from Wilfred Owen's poem 'Dulce et Decorum Est' which goes: 'the Rifles Rapid Rattle' (my capitals). That's alliteration, so I know that the other one must be assonance... smiley - silly

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Alliteration and Assonance (and Consonance)

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