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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timetowritenow

For over twenty-five years, I've taught elementary grades, high school, and county special education classes. Now I am a field supervisor for teachers working toward their teaching credentials. I also teach writing classes in Dublin and Pleasanton, California. I have won 5 awards in short story contests, My stories are published in The California Writers Club Literary Review, and several anthologies including four times in Las Positas College collections. I have several book projects, but the two that have my immediate attention are HADA'S FOG, which is women's fiction, LILLI, a YA novel, and NORMAN IN THE PICTURE, a paranormal mystery. I have published an anthology WRITTEN ACROSS THE GENRES that includes writings from members of my writing classes and other writers. It's available on Amazon and Kindle.

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