Assonance in Literature

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Created by: Team English -, Last Updated: June 6, 2024

Assonance in Literature

Unlock the rich tapestry of assonance in literature with our comprehensive guide. Designed to inspire writers and engage readers, our resource offers one-of-a-kind examples and invaluable tips. Learn how assonance can elevate your prose and add a lyrical touch to your literary endeavors. Your journey to mastering this poetic device starts here.

What is Assonance in Literature? – Definition

Assonance in literature refers to the repetition of vowel sounds in closely positioned words. It is often used to create mood, pace, and rhythm, enhancing the overall reading experience. For those new to this concept, our section on assonance for students provides a clear and concise introduction.

What is the best Example of Assonance in Literature?

One of the most striking examples of assonance in literature can be found in Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Bells,” specifically in the line, “Hear the mellow wedding bells.” Here, the ‘e’ sound in “hear,” “mellow,” and “wedding bells” is repeated, creating a harmonious and lyrical effect that contributes to the poem’s atmosphere. This example showcases how assonance can add a layer of depth and beauty to the text.

100 Assonance in Literature Examples

Assonance in Literature
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Explore the various ways renowned authors have utilized this poetic device to enrich their storytelling. Ideal for writers, literary enthusiasts, and students, our examples promise to ignite your creativity and deepen your understanding of assonance. For younger readers, we also have a dedicated section on assonance for kids to foster an early appreciation of literary techniques.

  1. “Do not go gentle into that good night” – Dylan Thomas (‘o’ sound)
  2. “I must confess that in dreams, I both see and hear” – Edgar Allan Poe (‘e’ sound)
  3. “Sweet roses do not so, nor lilies, nor baby’s breath.” – E.E. Cummings (‘o’ and ‘i’ sound)
  4. “So we beat on, boats against the current” – F. Scott Fitzgerald (‘o’ and ‘ea’ sound)
  5. “Full fathom five thy father lies” – Shakespeare (‘u’ and ‘a’ sound)
  6. “The crumbling thunder of seas” – Robert Frost (‘u’ sound)
  7. “Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay” – Dylan Thomas (‘a’ and ‘e’ sound)
  8. “Burning bright in the forests of the night” – William Blake (‘i’ sound)
  9. “Hear the lark and harken to the barking” – Samuel Beckett (‘ea’ and ‘a’ sound)
  10. “The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew” – Coleridge (‘ai’ and ‘oo’ sound)
  11. “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan” – Coleridge (‘a’ sound)
  12. “Ships, shoes, and sealing wax” – Lewis Carroll (‘i’ and ‘oo’ sound)
  13. “The moan of doves in immemorial elms” – T.S. Eliot (‘o’ and ‘i’ sound)
  14. “When I consider how my light is spent” – John Milton (‘e’ and ‘i’ sound)
  15. “Stood alone on a mountain top” – Neil Young (‘oo’ and ‘o’ sound)
  16. “Creaking and groaning as if not in the best of health” – Charles Dickens (‘ea’ and ‘oa’ sound)
  17. “The old pond, a frog jumps in” – Basho (‘o’ sound)
  18. “Singing the songs of angry men” – Victor Hugo (‘i’ and ‘o’ sound)
  19. “When shall we three meet again” – Shakespeare (‘e’ and ‘ee’ sound)
  20. “Green grow the rushes, O” – Traditional Scottish (‘ee’ and ‘o’ sound)
  21. “Sleeping in the midnight sun” – Led Zeppelin (‘ee’ and ‘i’ sound)
  22. “Time out of mind” – Bob Dylan (‘i’ and ‘ou’ sound)
  23. “And miles to go before I sleep” – Robert Frost (‘i’ and ‘o’ sound)
  24. “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” – Hunter S. Thompson (‘ea’ and ‘oa’ sound)
  25. “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” – John Keats (‘ea’ and ‘i’ sound)
  26. “Batter my heart, three-personed God” – John Donne (‘a’ and ‘e’ sound)
  27. “In wildness is the preservation of the world” – Thoreau (‘i’ and ‘e’ sound)
  28. “Merry little bells kept time” – Poe (‘e’ sound)
  29. “Oh, to be in England” – Robert Browning (‘o’ and ‘i’ sound)
  30. “Each in his narrow cell forever laid” – Thomas Gray (‘ea’ and ‘o’ sound)
  31. “Mope and mow” – W.B. Yeats (‘o’ sound)
  32. “Barefoot on the beaches” – F. Scott Fitzgerald (‘a’ and ‘ee’ sound)
  33. “One day I wrote her name upon the strand” – Edmund Spenser (‘o’ and ‘a’ sound)
  34. “Her early leaf’s a flower” – Lord Byron (‘ea’ and ‘o’ sound)
  35. “Birds of the same feather flock together” – Proverb (‘e’ and ‘o’ sound)
  36. “His coat, so gay and fluttering” – William Blake (‘o’ and ‘a’ sound)
  37. “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall” – Robert Frost (‘e’ and ‘o’ sound)
  38. “The child is father of the man” – Wordsworth (‘i’ and ‘a’ sound)
  39. “I wandered lonely as a cloud” – Wordsworth (‘o’ and ‘ou’ sound)
  40. “Under the greenwood tree” – Shakespeare (‘u’ and ‘ee’ sound)
  41. “By the shores of Gitche Gumee” – Longfellow (‘o’ and ‘ee’ sound)
  42. “The sun was shining on the sea” – Lewis Carroll (‘u’ and ‘ea’ sound)
  43. “I celebrate myself, and sing myself” – Walt Whitman (‘e’ and ‘i’ sound)
  44. “Golden daffodils” – Wordsworth (‘o’ and ‘a’ sound)
  45. “Full many a glorious morning have I seen” – Shakespeare (‘u’ and ‘o’ sound)
  46. “That floats on high o’er vales and hills” – Wordsworth (‘o’ and ‘i’ sound)
  47. “Ten thousand I saw at a glance” – Wordsworth (‘e’ and ‘a’ sound)
  48. “Till human voices wake us, and we drown” – T.S. Eliot (‘i’ and ‘ou’ sound)
  49. “Slaughter is the best medicine” – Shakespeare (‘a’ and ‘e’ sound)
  50. “The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase” – T.S. Eliot (‘i’ and ‘o’ sound)
  51. “A host, of golden daffodils” – Wordsworth (‘o’ and ‘a’ sound)
  52. “To sleep, perchance to dream” – Shakespeare (‘e’ and ‘ea’ sound)
  53. “Till the cows come home” – Proverb (‘i’ and ‘o’ sound)
  54. “Do not go gentle into that good night” – Dylan Thomas (‘o’ and ‘oo’ sound)
  55. “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings” – Shelley (‘y’ and ‘i’ sound)
  56. “Tiger, tiger, burning bright” – Blake (‘i’ and ‘u’ sound)
  57. “O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms” – Keats (‘o’ and ‘ai’ sound)
  58. “The lonely mountains o’er” – Robert Burns (‘o’ and ‘ou’ sound)
  59. “And the raven, never flitting” – Poe (‘a’ and ‘i’ sound)
  60. “By the pricking of my thumbs” – Shakespeare (‘y’ and ‘i’ sound)
  61. “Beauty is truth, truth beauty” – Keats (‘ea’ and ‘oo’ sound)
  62. “Once upon a midnight dreary” – Poe (‘o’ and ‘i’ sound)
  63. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” – Shakespeare (‘a’ and ‘ee’ sound)
  64. “Hope is the thing with feathers” – Emily Dickinson (‘o’ and ‘ea’ sound)
  65. “Thy eternal summer shall not fade” – Shakespeare (‘y’ and ‘a’ sound)
  66. “Time, which sees all things, has found you out” – Shelley (‘i’ and ‘ou’ sound)
  67. “Ode to a Nightingale” – Keats (‘o’ and ‘i’ sound)
  68. “Come live with me and be my love” – Christopher Marlowe (‘o’ and ‘ee’ sound)
  69. “I met a traveler from an antique land” – Shelley (‘a’ and ‘a’ sound)
  70. “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here” – Lincoln (‘o’ and ‘o’ sound)
  71. “The old man and the sea” – Ernest Hemingway (‘o’ and ‘ea’ sound)
  72. “Bleak House” – Charles Dickens (‘ea’ and ‘ou’ sound)
  73. “The woods are lovely, dark and deep” – Frost (‘o’ and ‘ee’ sound)
  74. “Because I could not stop for Death” – Emily Dickinson (‘e’ and ‘o’ sound)
  75. “Ah, distinctly I remember” – Poe (‘i’ and ‘e’ sound)
  76. “Dulce et decorum est” – Wilfred Owen (‘u’ and ‘e’ sound)
  77. “Death be not proud” – John Donne (‘ea’ and ‘ou’ sound)
  78. “Life is but a walking shadow” – Shakespeare (‘i’ and ‘a’ sound)
  79. “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons” – T.S. Eliot (‘a’ and ‘oo’ sound)
  80. “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood” – Robert Frost (‘o’ and ‘e’ sound)
  81. “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” – Keats (‘ea’ and ‘e’ sound)
  82. “Brave new world” – Aldous Huxley (‘a’ and ‘e’ sound)
  83. “It is a tale told by an idiot” – Shakespeare (‘i’ and ‘o’ sound)
  84. “The mirror crack’d from side to side” – Tennyson (‘i’ and ‘o’ sound)
  85. “Shall I part my hair behind?” – T.S. Eliot (‘a’ and ‘i’ sound)
  86. “The horror, the horror” – Joseph Conrad (‘o’ and ‘e’ sound)
  87. “April is the cruelest month” – T.S. Eliot (‘u’ and ‘o’ sound)
  88. “Do I dare to eat a peach?” – T.S. Eliot (‘a’ and ‘ea’ sound)
  89. “The sound and the fury” – William Faulkner (‘ou’ and ‘u’ sound)
  90. “Call me Ishmael” – Herman Melville (‘a’ and ‘e’ sound)
  91. “She walks in beauty” – Lord Byron (‘a’ and ‘e’ sound)
  92. “Howl, howl, howl, howl!” – Shakespeare (‘o’ and ‘ou’ sound)
  93. “To have and have not” – Ernest Hemingway (‘a’ and ‘o’ sound)
  94. “One day I will find the right words” – Jack Kerouac (‘o’ and ‘i’ sound)
  95. “The Catcher in the Rye” – J.D. Salinger (‘a’ and ‘e’ sound)
  96. “Cry, the beloved country” – Alan Paton (‘y’ and ‘e’ sound)
  97. “Green eggs and ham” – Dr. Seuss (‘ee’ and ‘a’ sound)
  98. “The bells, bells, bells, bells” – Edgar Allan Poe (‘e’ and ‘e’ sound)
  99. “The color is hideous enough” – Oscar Wilde (‘o’ and ‘i’ sound)
  100. “So we beat on, boats against the current” – F. Scott Fitzgerald (‘e’ and ‘a’ sound)

This extensive list should give you a good grasp of how assonance plays an impactful role in literature. From poets to novelists, this technique has been employed to enrich the texture and tone of various works. Assonance not only adds a musical quality but also a deeper layer of meaning, making it a powerful tool for any writer.

How do you write Assonance in Literature? – Step by Step Guide

Writing assonance in literature may seem complex, but it’s quite simple once you get the hang of it. Assonance can add a lyrical touch and emotional resonance to your work. Here’s a step-by-step guide, and for more detailed examples, our page on assonance in poetry can be particularly enlightening.

  1. Identify the Emotion or Tone: Determine what emotion or tone you want to convey. Assonance can help create a mood such as melancholy, excitement, or serenity.
  2. Choose Your Vowels: Select the vowel sounds that you want to repeat. They can be short (‘a’ as in cat) or long (‘i’ as in ice).
  3. Start Writing: Write your sentences or lines of poetry. Don’t worry about the assonance yet; get your ideas down first.
  4. Insert Vowel Sounds: Go back and adjust words to include the chosen vowel sounds. Make sure they are close enough to create the desired effect.
  5. Read Aloud: This step is crucial. Read your lines out loud to make sure the assonance sounds natural and creates the mood you’re going for.
  6. Revise: Assonance should enhance, not distract. If it feels forced, make revisions.
  7. Consult Peers: Sometimes you’re too close to your work to judge. Have someone read it and provide feedback.
  8. Finalize: Make any necessary adjustments and finalize your piece.

Tips for Using Assonance in Literature

  1. Don’t Overdo It: Too much assonance can overwhelm your readers. Placement matters, and the effect is stronger if the assonant words are closer together. For a more nuanced understanding, consider exploring the relationship between assonance and consonance.
  2. Placement Matters: The effect is stronger if the assonant words are closer together, but they don’t have to be adjacent.
  3. Combine with Other Devices: Assonance works well when combined with other literary devices like alliteration and consonance.
  4. Keep it Subtle: The best assonance enhances the work but doesn’t demand attention.
  5. Context is King: Assonance should serve the story or theme. Make sure it aligns with the message you want to convey.
  6. Practice Makes Perfect: The more you practice, the more natural it will feel to incorporate assonance into your writing.
  7. Read Widely: The best way to understand assonance is to see it in action. Read various forms of literature to see how different writers use this technique.
  8. Experiment: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different vowel sounds and placements to see what fits best in your piece.

By following these steps and tips, you’ll be well on your way to effectively using assonance in your literary works. This literary device can imbue your writing with depth and rhythm, adding that extra layer of sophistication. For further exploration, see how assonance is used in different contexts, such as in assonance in songs, assonance in movies, and even in everyday language with assonance in sentences.

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