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Assonance takes place when two or more words close to one another repeat the same vowel sound but start with different consonant sounds. The words do share the same vowel sounds but start with different consonant sounds unlike alliteration that involves repetition of the same consonant sound

Example #1

Try to notice the use of assonance in Robert Frosts poem “Fire and Ice”:

“He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dar and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.”

Example #2

William Wordsworth employs assonance to create an internal rhyme in his poem “Daffodils”:

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o‘er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze…”

Example #3

Below are a few brief examples of assonance from different writers:

“If I bleat when I speak it’s because I just got . . . fleeced.” – Deadwood by Al Swearengen

“Those images that yet,
Fresh images beget,
That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea.” – Byzantium by W.B. Yeats

“Strips of tinfoil winking like people” – The Bee Meeting by Sylvia Plath

“I must confess that in my quest I felt depressed and restless.” – With Love by Thin Lizzy

Function of Assonance

Similar to any other literary device, assonance also has a very important role to play in both poetry and prose. Writers use it as a tool to enhance a musical effect in the text by using it for creating internal rhyme, which consequently enhances the pleasure of reading a literary piece. In addition, it helps writers to develop a particular mood in the text that corresponds with its subject matter..

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