Rhetorical Devices Euphony and Cacophony

Euphony with written words in backgroundThe Rhetorical devices euphony and cacophony are opposites. Euphony is the use of words having pleasant and harmonious effects by using long vowels and the consonants l, m. n, r, f, v, y,  th, and wh.

An example of euphony is from ‘The Lotos-Eaters’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson: “The Mild-eyed melancholy lotos-eaters came.” John Keats in ‘To Autumn’ uses euphony with “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.”

Cacophony in daily life refers to sounds such as music that is too loud, people talking, babies crying, dogs barking, etc.Cacophony in literature consists of a mixture of harsh and inharmonious sounds, usually words with the use of consonants, p, b, d, g, k, ch-, sh-, etc.  Writers use those words when writing distasteful situations with disorder and confusion.

Cacophony loud“With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,

Agape they heard me call.”

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is an example of cacophony in literature.

Do you tend to use cacophony or euphony?

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