Have you ever been enticed with a poem or a song? If so, what have you noticed with the words used in its verses?
There are a lot of reasons why there are captivating poems and catching songs and one of it is the use of the literary device called assonance. Assonance helps in setting the mood, rhythm, and tone of a poem or a song. You may do without assonance when you would be writing songs or poems, but it would sound more pleasing and engaging to hear written compositions that uses assonant words.
Learn more about assonance with the help of this article. We are also providing you some examples of how assonance is being extensively used in the literature as well as in pop culture.
Assonance, pronounced as–uh-nuh-ns, is derived from Latin word sonus which means sound and it is also derived from the Latin phrase assonare which means to answer with the same sound.
The adjective form of assonance is assonant.
Assonance is the repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds within words, phrases, or sentences.
Assonance is a literary device that can affect the mood, rhythm, and tone of a poem or a song; it even sets it.
Sounds are repeated in assonance and not the letters. With the use of assonance, you will be able to put emphasis on the words used even in texts with short lengths.
Assonant words may or may not be closely situated beside each other. As long as the assonant words are just within the same verse, it can still qualify as assonant. There are some song lyrics wherein the assonant words are found at the end of each line of the verse.
Assonance is extensively used in poetry. There are various rhyme schemes that are used in poetry. Since assonance is closely associated with internal rhyme, assonance provides rhythm and even a musical tone in poems. The use of assonance in poems is effective in setting the mood of the poem. The more the rhyming words are closely situated beside each other, its rhythm becomes more obvious in the ears of the readers making it more encouraging to read on. There is also such a thing called wordplay and one method of playing with words is the use of assonance. It makes poems sound more fun and engaging compared to those that have none which makes it sound bland.
Since it has the capacity to make texts sound musical, assonance is also important in the field of music. There are songs, whether intentionally or not, has made use assonance. With the use of assonance, they are able to gain and encourage continued attention from their listeners, resulting in their songs a hit. It also makes songs a bit easier and even fun to listen to because the rhyme would then give pleasure to the ears of the listeners.
Among the all the figures of speech, there are some people who would get confused between assonance and consonance.
To differentiate between the two, you just have to keep in mind that Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in texts that would result in creating either internal rhymes or end rhymes.
On the other hand, Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds that are situated usually at the beginning of lines of verses.
Here are some examples of assonance in literature and in song lyrics. Take note of the italicized words for these words make these written compositions assonant.
1. William Wordsworth’s 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…”
2. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
“He was soon borne away by the waves, and lost in darkness and distance.”
3. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird
“But at supper that evening when I asked him to pass the damn ham, please, Uncle Jack pointed at me. ‘See me afterward, young lady,’ he said.
4. Dylan Thomas’ Do not go gentle into that good night
“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light…
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
5. William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 55
“Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme
But you shall shine more bright in these contents…”
6. Robert Frost’s After Apple-Picking
“Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.”
7. Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
“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, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
8. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Outer Dark
“From folk that sat on the terrace and drew out the even long
Sudden crowings of laughter, monotonous drone of song;
The quiet passage of souls over his head in the trees;
And from all around the haven the crumbling thunder of seas.”
Farewell, my home,” said Rua. “Farewell, O quiet seat!
To-morrow in all your valleys the drum of death shall beat.”
9. John Keats When I have Hears
“When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in character,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripened grain.”
10. Edgar Allan Poe’s The Master
“And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me – filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating`
‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door –
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; ”
This it is, and nothing more.”
1. Doomtree’s Bangarang
But some punks want to jump up
With a sharp tongue and their fronts up
Like we got here by dumb luck
But they just want to become us.
2. Busta Rhymes’ Gimme Some More
Flash with a rash gimme my cash flickin’ my ash
Runnin with my money, son, go out with a blast.”
2. Pink Floyd’s Grantchester Meadows
“In the sky, a bird was heard to cry
Misty morning whisperings and gentle stirring sounds
Belie the deathly silence that lay all around.”
3. Thin Lizzy’s With Love
“It’s a tedious existence laying your love on the line
Resistance is useless she can leave at any time
I must confess that it my quest I felt depressed and restless
But this Casanova’s roving days are over more or less.”
4. Destroyer’s Painter in Your Pocket
“And I’m reminded
of the time that I was blinded
by the sun
It was a welcome change
From the sight of you hanging
Like a willow.”
5. Nirvana’s Something in the Way
“Underneath the bridge
The tarp has sprung a leak
And the animals I’ve trapped
Have all become my pets
And I’m living off of grass
And the drippings from the ceiling
But it’s okay to eat fish
‘Cause they don’t have any feelings.”
6. Eminem’s Without Me
“Some vodka that’ll jump start my heart quicker
Than a shock when I get shocked at the hospital
By the doctor when I’m not co-operating
When I’m rocking the table while he’s operating.”
With the help of a literary device such as assonance, you will be able to add more life to your literary pieces or song compositions. You can also use it in your daily conversations, too, when you would want to put some spice to your dialogues with the people around you.