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Alliteration is a device based on repetition of the same or
similar sounds at close distance, which makes speech more
expressive. It is frequently used in idioms: tit for tat; tit-bit;
(It̕s) neck or nothing; bag and baggage; last but not least;
waste not, want not; as good as gold; as green as grass;
willy-nilly; hurly-burly; to shilly-shally/ to dilly-dally, now or
never,etc. Note also the use of alliteration in poetry:
The lake lay blue below the hill (M.Coleridge);
When I do count the clock that tells the time (W.
The City΄s voice itself is soft like Solitude̕s (P.B.Shelly)


A variant of alliteration is assonance, i.e. repetition of the
same or similar vowels only, as in the phrase wear and tear
(My shoes show signs of wear and tear; the wear and tear
of city life).
See the repetition of the diphthong [ei] in the lines:
Tell this soul, with sorrow laden, if within the distant
I shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name
Lenore –
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name
Lenor? (E.Poe)


The term denotes sound imitation, i.e. the use of words which
denote some phenomenon by imitating its real sounding. 1)
Imitation of the sounds produced by animals: bow-wow (dogs);
moo (cows); mew/miaow and purr (cats);baa-baa (sheep);
quack (ducks), etc. 2) Imitation of other natural noises: tick,
tick-tuck; ding-dong, jingle; giggle, chuckle; whistle; rustle;
bubble; flop; splash; bang, slap, rap, tap, etc.
Words built on the basis of onomatopoeia make speech
especially expressive when used in their figurative meanings:
Cars were whizzing past; The pot was bubbling on the fire; The
crowd buzzed with excitement; I΄ll just give him a buzz.


Rhythm is a regular repeated pattern of sounds. In prose rhythm is
based on repetition of images, themes, motives, parallel
constructions, homogeneous parts, etc., which subconsciously affects
readers΄ feelings and emotions.
E.g. I looked upon the scene before me – upon the mere house, and
the simple landscape features of the domain - upon the bleak walls –
upon the vacant eye-like windows- upon a few rank sedges – and
upon a few white trunks of decayed trees – with an utter depression
of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly
than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium – the bitter lapse
into everyday life – the hideous dropping off the veil. (E.A. Poe. The
Fall of the House of Usher)
Rhythm in poetic speech is produced by regular alternation of
stressed and unstressed syllables.


Rhythm in poetic speech
A division of the poetic line
from stress to stress, which
contains one stressed
syllable and one or two
unstressed syllables, is
called a Foot.
5 types of feet:
1) Trochee or a trochaic foot
(΄о/΄ о / ΄ о/ )
2) Iambus or a iambic foot
( о ΄/ о΄/ о ΄/)
3) Dactyl or a dactylic foot
(΄ о о/΄ о о/ )
4) Amphibrach or an amphibrachic foot
( о ΄ о/ о ΄ о/ о ΄ о/ )
5) Anapaest or an anapaestic foot
The type of foot and the
number of feet in the line
determine the Metre of
the verse.


Trochee: Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater,
Had a wife and couldn΄t keep her. (trochaic tetrametre)
Iambus: And then my love and I shall pace,
My jet black hair in pearly braids. (Coleridge) (iambic
Dactyl: Why do you cry, Willie?
Amphibrach: A diller, a dollar, a ten o΄clock scholar… ( amphibrachic
Anapaest: Said the flee, ΄Let us fly΄,
Said the fly, ΄Let us flee΄,
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.


Rhyme is a regular recurrence (appearance) of the same sounds
at the ends of lines in verse. It is essential for Stylistics of
decoding that rhyme is an important type of coupling in poetry
and supplies cohesion and coherence to poetic texts. Endings
are the most often to rhyme but rhymes are possible in the
middle of lines and in their beginnings.
By the type of the stressed syllable three rhymes are
distinguished: 1) the male rhyme –when the stress falls on the
last syllable in the rhymed lines;
2) the female rhyme –when the stress falls on the last but one
syllable; 3) the dactylic rhyme- when the stress falls on the third
from the last syllable.


E.g. When the lamp is shattered (female rhyme)
The light in the dust lies dead; (male rhyme)
When the cloud is scattered, (female)
The rainbow̕s glory is shed. (male) (P.B. Shelly)
According to the vertical position, there may be paired rhymes (парные, смежные рифмы) (aabb);
alternate rhymes (перекрестные рифмы) (abab) or enclosing rhymes (охватные, опоясанные ритмы)
E.g. A slumber did my spirit seal; (a)
I had no human fears: (b)
She seemed a thing that could not feel (a)
The touch of earthly years. (b) (W. Wordsworth)
As other tropes rhythm creates meanings as it makes author΄s ideas and emotions clearer. It may
imitate movement, behavior, environment, hesitation, tension, grief and so on.
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