Note: Literary device - consonance

Note

Consonance is a literary device in which a consonant sound is repeated in words that are in close proximity.

The repeated sound can appear anywhere in the words, unlike in alliteration where the repeated consonant sound must occur in the stressed part of the word.

Consonance is also a similar concept to assonance, which refers to the repetition of vowel sounds in quick succession. It creates linguistic cohesion and internal rhythms, a sense of aural harmony.

Many common phrases, idioms, and tongue twisters as well as famous speeches are ripe with consonance.

‘My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.’ John F. Kennedy

Those fine and moving words were penned by Kennedy’s longtime counsel and speechwriter, Ted Sorensen. A Nebraskan who blessed Kennedy the gift of rhetoric.


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