From LitWiki

Alliteration is the repetition of identical sounds at the beginning of words or in stressed syllables.[1] The words applied in alliteration can begin with a consonant or a vowel. This literary device occurs in various words across successive sentences, clauses, or phrases.[2] The function of alliteration, like rhyme, might be to emphasize the exquisiteness of language in a given context, or to unite words or concepts through a type of repetition.[3]

Examples of Alliteration

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?

Nate never knows.

She sells seashells by the seashore. The shells she sells are surely seashells. So if she sells shells on the seashore,I'm sure she sells seashore shells.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck If a woodchuck would chuck wood? A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could chuck If a woodchuck would chuck wood.

People who pen poetry.

Alliteration in Poetry and Literature

Alliteration possesses a very essential role in poetry and prose. The repeating sounds generate a harmonious effect in the text that enriches the pleasure of reading a literary piece. Alliteration makes reading and recitation of the poems attractive and alluring; thus, making them easier to learn. Furthermore, this literary device contributes flow and attractiveness to a piece of writing.[4]

Here are examples of alliteration in poetry and literature:

In The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe uses many examples of alliteration including the following line: "Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary".

Samuel Taylor Coleridge uses the following line of alliteration, "For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky" in Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

This line from Beowulf is also alliteration: "Hot-hearted Beowulf was bent upon battle."

Alliteration for Children

In the nursery rhyme Three Grey Geese by Mother Goose, the use of alliteration can be found in the following line: "Three grey geese in a green field grazing. Grey were the geese and green was the grazing."

Betty Botter,also by Mother Goose, uses alliteration: "Betty Botter bought some butter, but, she said, the butter’s bitter; if I put it in my batter it will make my batter bitter, but a bit of better butter will make my batter better."

In Dr. Suess ABC book, alliteration is found on every page: "Aunt Annie’s alligator Barber baby bubbles and a bumblebee Camel on the ceiling..."

Several Dr. Suess' books utilize alliteration. For instance, notice the alliteration in Fox In Socks: "Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew. While these fleas flew, freezy breeze blew...."

Alliteration in Rhetoric

The use of alliteration in poetry is similar to using alliteration in rhetoric. Orators, who apply this literary device within their speeches, develop eloquent and persuasive messages. Using alliteration in a speech adds a textural complexity, making it more engaging, moving, and memorable. This literary device captivates a person's auditory senses that contribute in generating a mood for the speaker. The repeating sound forces spectator’s attention because of their distinct and noticeable nature. To see alliteration used affectively, read John F. Kennedy’s, Martin Luther King Jr.’s, Bill Clinton's, Ronald Reagan's, and Barack Obama’s speeches.

Here are a few lines from their speeches:

"We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth."[5] -Barack Obama

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."[6] -MLK

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.[7] -JFK

"Somewhere at this very moment a child is being born in America. Let it be our cause to give that child a happy home, a healthy family, and a hopeful future."[8] -Bill Clinton

"And our nation itself is testimony to the love our veterans have had for it and for us. All for which America stands is safe today because brave men and women have been ready to face the fire at freedom's front."[9] -Ronald Reagan

Pop Culture Alliteration

Various organizations apply alliteration to develop memorable and appealing names. By using alliteration companies are able to enhance sales and attract customers. [10]

Several common illustrations are:

• Dunkin’ Donuts

• PayPal

• Best Buy

• Coca-Cola

• Life Lock

• Park Place

• American Apparel

• American Airlines

• Chuckee Cheese’s

• Bed Bath & Beyond

• Krispy Kreme

Alliterations are also found in people or character names, creating unforgettable and distinguishable identities. Fictional characters and real individual’s identifications may be distinctive due to the alliterative effects of the names. [11]

A few examples are:

• Ronald Reagan

• Sammy Sosa

• Jesse Jackson

• Michael Moore

• William Wordsworth

• Mickey Mouse

• Porky Pig

• Marilyn Monroe

• Fred Flintstone

• Donald Duck

• Spongebob Squarepants

Also See