Difference Between Assonance and Consonance

Main Difference

To enhance the pleasure and to make balance in the phrase or verse, poets use certain tactics. That all is aimed to grab more of the audience attention and to get the rhythm right for the verse or stanza. Assonance and Consonance are the two of the poetic devices that works under the same principle. Assonance is the repetition of similar vowels sounds usually starting with the consonant sounds , whereas Consonance is the repetition of sounds produced by consonants in a quick succession. Assonance is generally used in verse, whereas Consonance is used both in verse and prose.

Comparison Chart

ConsonanceAssonance
SoundsConsonance is the repetition of sounds produced by consonants in a quick succession.Assonance is the repetition of similar vowels sounds usually starting with the consonant sounds.
Major UsageConsonance is mainly used for reiterating the significance of an idea or theme.Assonance is used to enhance the musical effect in the text or poetic verse by creating internal rhyme.
TypesConsonance can further be divided into two types: alliteration and sibilance.Assonance does’t have any such sub categories.

What is Assonance?

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

Example of Assonance:

“He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dar and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

The context is taken from Robert Frosts poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. The letters kept bold are actually the letters repeating the similar vowel sounds, they generally start from the different consonant sounds.

What is Consonance?

Consonance is the repetition of sounds produced by consonants in a quick succession within a phrase, sentence or verse. Generally the repetition of consonant sounds happens with the repetition of consonants in the middle or at the end of the words. It can further be divided into two types: alliteration and sibilance. Consonance is mainly used for reiterating the significance of an idea or theme.

Example of Consonance:

‘T was later when the summer went
Than when the cricket came,
And yet we knew that gentle clock
Meant nought but going home.
‘T was sooner when the cricket went
Than when the winter came,
Yet that pathetic pendulum
Keeps esoteric time.

The context is taken from the’Twas later when the summer went’ written by Emily Dickinson. The underlined letters are taking out the consonant sound,it is the ‘m’ sound in the case.

Assonance vs. Consonance

  • Assonance is the repetition of similar vowels sounds usually starting with the consonant sounds , whereas Consonance is the repetition of sounds produced by consonants in a quick succession.
  • Consonance can further be divided into two types: alliteration and sibilance, while Assonance does’t have any such sub categories.
  • Assonance is used to enhance the musical effect in the text or poetic verse by creating internal rhyme, on the other hand, Consonance is mainly used for reiterating the significance of an idea or theme.

Comparison Video

YouTube video
Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

View all posts by Aimie Carlson