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Content Objective. Today I will identify how alliteration enhances the meaning of Beowulf by choosing an alliterative passage from the text and analyzing it for meaning as a journal entry. ALLITERATIVE PROSE IN BEOWULF. Alliteration.

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Content objective
Content Objective

  • Today I will identify how alliteration enhances the meaning of Beowulf by choosing an alliterative passage from the text and analyzing it for meaningas a journal entry



Alliteration
Alliteration

  • Alliteration is the repetition of initial sounds in neighboring words.

  • Example:

    Wordsworth: And sings a solitary song/That whistles in the wind.


  • The repetition of consonants is called alliteration, or the repeating of the same letter (or sound) at the beginning of words following each other immediately or at short intervals. A famous example is to be found in the two lines by Tennyson:

  • The moan of doves in immemorial elms,And murmuring of innumerable bees.



  • The epic poem of Beowulf is distinguished by its heavy use of alliteration. There are many examples of alliteration in Beowulf, often three examples in every line. Here is a selection of Beowulf in “Old English.” Even without knowing the meaning of the words, we can still “hear” the alliteration. Please underline the letters in the passage that create the alliterative effect:


  • Hwæt of alliteration. There are many examples of alliteration in Beowulf, often three examples in every line. Here is a selection of Beowulf in “Old English.” Even without knowing the meaning of the words, we can still “hear” the alliteration. Please underline the letters in the passage ! We Gardena in geardagum,þeodcyninga, þrymgefrunon,huðaæþelingasellenfremedon.

    Oft ScyldScefingsceaþenaþreatum,monegummægþum, meodosetlaofteah,egsodeeorlas. Syððanærestwearðfeasceaftfunden, he þæsfrofregebad . . .


  • In our translation of Beowulf, there may not be three examples of alliteration per every line. Still, there are many examples. Below are a few lines from Beowulf translated that use alliteration. Underline the letters in the passage below that create the alliterative effect:


  • Now Beowulf bode in the burg of the examples of alliteration per every line. Still, there are many examples. Below are a few lines from Beowulf translated that use alliteration. Underline the letters in the passage below that create the alliterative effect:Geats.

  • Cunningly creeping, a spectral stalker

  • Hot-hearted Beowulf was bent upon battle

  • He had often haunted Hrothgar's house

  • Now glutted with gore he would guzzle his fill





Quick check for understanding
Quick Check for Understanding use of alliteration and how it creates meaning in the text.

Answer the following questions:

  • What style of poetry uses alliteration rather than rhyme?

  • List three effects that the use of alliteration creates in poetry.


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