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Figure of Speech

Assonance Examples: Assonance for Students and Children

Reading the line “it beats….as it sweeps…… as it cleans” can interest you and catch your attention. Here, the writer has repeated the sound long ‘e’ to create a rhythm and to increase the mood the line creates. This advertising slogan of 1950’s is a strong instance of Assonance. Do u know what assonance is? As you all know that grasping the rules of English language is not a cake walk for it is replete with more-than-sufficient rules and devices with regard to usage and grammar. There are ample literary devices which make reading a poem, or a prose, a thrilling experience. Down the centuries, plenty of poets and writers have turned masters of these devices by making the best use of them. Assonance is one such literary device where the vowel sounds are repeated to create an internal rhyming within sentences or phrases. To put in simpler terms, it refers to the effect when a sound of vowel is repeated in a same sentence with the help of words that are positioned close to each other. Popularly known as building blocks of verse, this literary device is mainly used in verse to increase the stress on a subject or to add flare.

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’.

Assonance Examples For Kids

Though seemingly easy to understand, it is difficult to grasp the concept of assonance from the literary point of view. Hence, kids must be taught with simple instances and less complicated words. You must help them rhyme one word with the other in the same sentence. Some examples follow:

  • Take the gun and have fun.
  • Play with the clay to make the dolls.
  • Bake the cake and eat quickly.
  • The camp is foiled as the soil is damp.

Few Other Short Examples Of Assonance

Following are some of the short examples of assonance.

  • I lie down by the side of my bride.
  • Hear the lark and harken to the barking of the dark fox gone to ground.
  • It’s hot and it’s monotonous.
  • The crumbling thunder of seas.
  • Try to light the fire.
  • Fleet feet sweep by sleeping geese.
  • Hear the mellow wedding bells.

Literary works usually feature plenty of assonant words and sounds, as poets and writers try to make their words and phrases rhythmic. However, always remember that assonance differ from the basic rhyme. Assonances appear in poems in a subtle manner, not being too obvious to the reader. Apart from this, there are many who warn against overdoing assonances as using words with repeated sounds can even lead to ruining the whole work as needless stress is given on some words and sounds. Among the literary figures, Edgar Allan Poe is one of the poets who mastered this literary device; his poems are rich with perfect examples of assonances.

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