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date: 05 December 2022

assonance, Greeklocked

assonance, Greeklocked

  • Michael Silk

Extract

Assonance is a technical term of modern literary analysis, used of a perceptible repetition of a sound or sounds within a verbal sequence. We may distinguish: (1) consonantal repetition, generally called ‘alliteration’, especially if word-initial (βράγχος καὶ βῆχες καὶ βαρυφωνίη Hippoc. Aer. 8; κακῶν…κῦμα Aesch. Sept. 758) or stem-initial (δυσκύμαντα…κακά Aesch. Ag. 653); (2) vocalic repetition (ἄγριον ἄνδραIl. 8. 96, λαμπρὸν φάος [α-ο/α-ο]Il. 1. 605); (3) syllabic repetition, or near-repetition, of stem syllables (πάθει μάθος Aesch. Ag. 177, σῶμα…σῆμα Pl. Grg. 493a), and of (4) final syllables (i.e. rhyme or near-rhyme: γέροντας ὄντας Ar. Ach. 222, στρόφου καὶ ψόφου Hippoc. VM 10, γιγνόμενος ἀναίσθητος θάνατος Thuc. 2. 43. 6, κρείων ἈγαμέμνωνIl. 1. 130).In ancient stylistics assonance is rarely discussed and inconsistently labelled. Types (3) and (4) are sometimes referred to as paronomasia (Cic. De or. 2. 256), parhomoiōsis (Arist. Rh. 3. 9. 9), homoioteleuton (Quint.

Subjects

  • Greek Literature

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