Difference Between Assonance and Consonance

Main difference

To enhance the pleasure and balance the phrase or verse, poets use certain tactics. All of this is aimed at capturing more of the audience’s attention and achieving the right rhythm for the verse or stanza. Assonance and consonance are the two poetic devices that work under the same principle. Assonance is the repetition of similar vowel sounds that usually begin with consonant sounds, while consonance is the repetition of sounds produced by consonants in rapid succession. Assonance is generally used in verse, while consonance is used in both verse and prose.

Comparison chart

Consonance Assonance
sounds Consonance is the repetition of sounds produced by consonants in rapid succession. Assonance is the repetition of similar vowel sounds that usually begin with consonant sounds.
Primary use Consonance is mainly used to reiterate the meaning of an idea or theme. Assonance is used to enhance the musical effect in poetic text or verse by creating internal rhyme.
Types Consonance can be further divided into two types: alliteration and sibilance. Assonance does not have any subcategories.

What is assonance?

The repetition of similar vowel sounds in the sentence, phrase, or line is called assonance. Words that actually use the poetic device of assonance in the phrase or sentence elicit the same vowel sounds from words that begin with different consonant sounds. Assonance is used to enhance the musical effect in poetic text or verse by creating internal rhyme.

Assonance example:

“He g i VES h i s Harn e ss b e LLS a shake
to ask if there are any errors.
The ONL and another sound is the eas sw ee p and the wind and down and scales. The woods are lovel y , Dar yd ee p. But I have promises to keep, and miles ag or bef or re dream I, and miles ag or bef or re than dream.”
The context is taken from Robert Frosts poem “Stopping in the Woods on a Snowy Night”. The letters that are kept in bold are actually the letters that repeat the similar vowel sounds, usually beginning with the different consonant sounds.

What is consonance?

Consonance is the repetition of sounds produced by consonants in rapid succession within a phrase, sentence, or line. Generally consonant repetition occurs with consonant repetition in the middle or at the end of words. Furthermore, it can be divided into two types: alliteration and sibilance. Consonance is mainly used to reiterate the meaning of an idea or theme.

Consonance example:

‘ Twas later when the Domm er was than when the cricket came , And yet I knew the smooth watch EANT nothing but to go home . ‘Twas earlier when the cricket was than when winter came , Yet that pathetic pendulum keeps esoteric time .
The context is taken from ‘It Was Later When Summer Went’ written by Emily Dickinson. The underlined letters are bringing out the consonant sound, it is the ‘m’ sound in the case.

Assonance vs. Consonance

  • Assonance is the repetition of similar vowel sounds that usually begin with consonant sounds, while consonance is the repetition of sounds produced by consonants in rapid succession.
  • Consonance can be divided into two types: alliteration and sibilance, while assonance does not have any subcategories.
  • Assonance is used to enhance the musical effect in poetic text or verse by creating internal rhyme, on the other hand, consonance is mainly used to reiterate the meaning of an idea or theme.

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