Rhetorical Device: Assonance

Assonance is the repetition of similar vowel sounds, surrounded by different consonants, in the stressed syllables of adjacent words. Assonance is associated with internal rhyme and has been called “vowel rhyme”.

The effect of assonance (like alliteration and consonance), is to create rhythm, and rhythm makes content more memorable.


O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?William Shakespeare, "Romeo and Juliette, Act 2 Scene 2"

I feel the need—the need for speed! Peter "Maverick" Mitchell (Tom Cruise), "Top Gun"

Soft language issued from their spitless lips as they swished in low circles round and round the field, winding hither and thither through the weeds. James Joyce, "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.
. . .
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Dylan Thomas, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"
WeWriteSpeeches rhetorical device explainer card on assonance

Further reading

  • LitCharts: Assonance Visit
  • Silva Rhetoricæ: The Forest of Rhetoric Visit
  • LiteraryDevices.net: Assonance Visit
  • Wikipedia: Assonance Visit
  • Grammarly: Assonance Visit