What is alliteration? Let's get the answers together.
As film, television, and games surpass the kinds of popularity we ever imagined and cross the globe, we begin to see them absorb into one another, borrowing the beats, structure, and even techniques involved in making each of them and using them in one another. As a result, we've seen movies and TV where you choose your own adventure, games where the midpoint changes its genre and characters, and interactivity across all mediums.
With all this happening, it's easy to forget that that basis for all of this stuff comes from the oldest art form—storytelling. Humans have been telling stories since language evolved. Eventually, that became literature. And literature has all sorts of devices that help authors convey messages to the masses. Well, a lot of those literary devices have since transformed and now are applicable to film, TV, and gaming. One of the most popular ones is alliteration.
Today we're going to give a sample of alliteration, and I'll even define alliteration with examples. So let's wax and wiggly walk through this terrific testament to alliterative answers.
What Is Alliteration, and How Is It Used in Film and TV? (Definition and Examples)
Sorry for that not-so-subtle situation. The truth is, writing these definitions is not as easy as you think. It takes a lot of research, rewriting, and rigor. Shall we see a soothsayer to say what's next?
Sorry, went a little to V for Vendetta there.
What Is the Alliteration Definition?
Alliteration is a literary device that names the situation where two or more words linked share the same first consonant sound. It was derived from Latin and meant “letters of the alphabet.”
What are some examples of alliteration? Let's check them out.
Alliteration Definition for Kids
Kids love a good tongue twister, and those tongue twisters are usually great examples of alliteration.
Famous examples of alliteration include:
- Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
- Rubber baby buggy bumpers.
- She sells seashells by the seashore.
- Susie works in a shoeshine shop. Where she shines, she sits, and where she sits, she shines.
- How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
What Is an Example of Alliteration in Literature?
As we mentioned in the opening, the art of alliteration originated within literature. Since alliteration focuses on the rhyme we hear when these passages are read, I thought it would be smart to see how authors used them in famous lines from their works.
Some examples of alliteration in literature include:
- The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe: "And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain."
- Robert Frost's poem Acquainted with the Night: "I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet."
- The Lake Isle of Innisfree by W. B. Yeats: "I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore."
Difference Between Alliteration and Assonance
Sometimes people confuse alliterative sayings with assonance. That's wrong.
The definition of assonance is a resemblance in the sounds either between their vowels (e.g., seat, mean) or between their consonants (e.g., kettle, carp).
- From My Fair Lady: "The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain."
- From William Wordsworth's "Daffodils": "A host of golden daffodils."
- William Blake's "Tyger": "Tyger, Tyger burning bright in the forest of the night."
Both of these terms also have very different purposes. The main purpose of alliteration is to create mood and rhythm. The purpose of assonance is to create a rhyming effect.
But what does any of this have to do with film and television?
What Does Alliteration Mean in Film and Television?
Believe it or not, we use alliteration in film and television all the time. Let's look at some alliteration examples in film and television.
Alliterative Movie and TV Show Titles
When you're picking the title for your script, many choose alliterative titles. They can help people remember the project and often roll off of the tongue.
Some examples of alliterative movie, TV, and game titles include:
- Bad Boys
- War of the Worlds
- Rat Race
- Maid in Manhattan
- Big Brother
- Breaking Bad
- Double Dare
- Family Feud
- Mork & Mindy
- Crystal Caves
- Dungeons and Dragons
- Final Fantasy
- Royal Rumble
- World of Warcraft
- Batman Beyond
- Peter Pan
- Brother Bear
- Donnie Darko
- Dawn of the Dead
- Saving Silverman
Alliterative Character Names
Outside of titles, characters often have alliterative names. This happens a lot in comic books and comic book movies. It also happens with many other characters across film, TV, and gaming.
It gives characters a sense of whimsy at times.
Examples of alliterative character names:
- Don Draper
- Lois Lane
- Lana Langer
- Cliff Claven
- Jessa Johansson
- Mega Man
- Jessica Jones
- Liz Lemon
- Martha Masters
- Marnie Michaels
- Hannah Horvath
- Shoshanna Shapiro
- Steve Stifler
- Donnie Donowitz
- Bruce Banner
- Peter Parker
- J. Jonah Jameson
- Dale Denton
- Saul Silver
- Walter White
- Rita Repulsa
- Matt Murdoch
Summing Up the Definition of Alliteration and Examples
This was a really fantastic and fun plot to put pen to paper. Of course, like anything, alliteration should be used sparingly, unless it's part of the themes of the stories. We learned the definition and the examples, but at the end of the day, it's up to you to execute how alliteration can affect the world of your story and how it can get your characters or title to stick out. I hope you walk away today to understand the alliteration meaning in figurative language and can give an example of alliteration when asked.
Let me know your favorite instances of alliteration in the comments.