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Sound and Sense

Sound and Sense


by Alexander Pope

Sound: Alliteration

Symbol Analysis

The title gives it away: sound is super important in this poem. Alliteration provides one of the major poetic devices in this poem that delivers the sound that accompanies the sense (or the meaning). Almost every line contains some form of alliteration, whether it's at the beginning of the words or in the middle. Because alliteration is everywhere, we'll just highlight a few of the lines in which it occurs:

  • Line 4: The Sound must seem an Eccho to the Sense.
  • Lines 5 and 6: Soft is the Strain when Zephyr gently blows,/ And the smooth Stream in smoother Numbers flows;
  • Lines 7 and 8: But when loud Surges lash the sounding Shore,/ The hoarse, rough Verse shou'd like the Torrent roar.
  • Lines 9 and 10: When Ajax strives, some Rocks' vast Weight to throw,/ The Line too labours, and the Words move slow;

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