- Assonance is the repetition of a vowel sound or diphthong in non-rhyming words.
- Assonance takes place when two or more words, close to one another repeat the same vowel sound, but start with different consonant sounds.
- For example
"Men sell the wedding be"
- Assonance is primarily used in poetry, in order to add rhythm and music.
- It makes the words flow together, and can help make phrases more memorable.
- It also mirrors or changes the mood of a poem in order to match the subject matter.
- Prose writers use it as a tool to enhance a musical effect in the text by using it for creating internal rhyme. This enhances the pleasure of reading a literary piece.
- It is widely found in English verse than in prose.
- Example of Assonance From Literature is
“I never heard before of a ship so well furbished
with battle tackle…
…no wise man in hall or weathered veteran…
…asleep from their feasting…
…they wept to heaven…”
(Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney)
- It is used in English-language poetry and is particularly important in Old French, Spanish, and the Celtic languages.
- It also occurs in prose for example:
- “Soft language issued from their spitless lips as they swished in low circles round and round the field, winding hither and thither through the weeds.”(James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
- Assonance is the opposite of consonance, which implies repetitive usage of consonant sounds.
- William Wordsworth uses assonance to reflect the calm and thoughtful mood of 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”