What is assonance ( 9 examples in poetry)

Assonance is the repetition of internal vowel sounds in a word. It depends upon the vocal sound and not on the spellings. Here the reader will find examples of assonance in poetry as well as in literature.

Originated from the Latin word “assonare” in early 18th century.

Definition

The repetition of internal vowel sounds in syllables of the word that are close together, however the vowels do not end the same sound. It is used to give emphasize on the important words in a line. Assonance depends solely on the vocal sound and not on the spellings of the words. For example, “asleep under a tree”, “each evening”, “seen”-“beat”, “gold” “killed” the words indicating the vowel “e’’ which is called assonance.

Effect of Rhyme in Assonance:

‘Rhyme’ is used in a word or line to create rhythm. The words in which the rhyme is used are having identical vowels at the end of syllable. “mystery” and “chemistry”, “shower” and “power”, “differential” and “financial”.

Importance of Assonance:

“Assonance” has very important role in creating musical, rhythmic and lyrical affect in a poem or prose. It is also useful to create the intending mood and tone of the text. Through assonance, readers are able to memorize the poem easily.

Assonance in Sentences:

  • I must confess that in my quest, I felt depressed and restless.
  • It beats, as it sweeps, as it cleans!
  • “Go slow on the road”
  • “Get ready for feast”
  • “Go to the Godown”

Examples in Literature

Frost at Midnight by S.T. Coleridge

“That solitude which suits Abstruser musings

Here the use of ‘u’ sound in the words is indicating assonance.

Sonnet-I” by Shakespeare

“His tender heir might Bear his memory”

The use of “e” vowel in the words above is example of assonance.

Daffodils” by William Wordsworth

“A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze

In the above stanza, the use of word “o” and “e” is indicating the use of assonance.

The Bee Meeting” by Sylvia Plath

“Strips of tinfoil winking like people”

Here the use of repeated internal vowel sound “I” has been shown.

The Lotos-Eaters” by A.L. Tennyson

“The Lotos blooms below he barren peak: The Lotos blows by every winding creek: All day the ‘wind breathe’s low with mellower tone, Thro’ every hollow cave and alley lone, Round and round the spicy owns the yellow Lotos-dust is blown.

“Tennyson” has used assonance “o” in the said stanza.

Strange Meeting” by Wilfred Owen”

It seemed that out of battle I escaped, Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped, Through granites which titanic wars had groined, Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned, Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.

The Solitary Reaper” by William Wordsworth

“Will no one tell me what she sings? Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow. For old unhappy far-off things. And battles long ago”.

Song of R. Garham of Gartmore

“If doughty deeds my lady please. Right soon I’ll mount my steed”.

Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

Here the repetition of vowel sound “a” in the words crystal stair has come which is example of assonance.

Difference between Assonance & Consonance

‘Assonance’ is the use of same vowel sounds at the end of word in a sentence. For example, ‘feel’, ‘deal’. Here the use of ‘e’ vowel sound is similar.

‘Consonance’ is the use of same consonants in the word. For example, “swayed”, “sweet”. Here the “s” consonant is similar in both the words.

Difference between Assonance & Alliteration

The difference between the ‘assonance’ and ‘alliteration’ is that assonance indicates the similar vowel sound effect in a sentence whereas ‘alliteration’ is repetition of similar letters words in a sentence.

Further Reading

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