Dissonance examples in literature

Definition of Dissonance

Dissonance is the use of impolite, harsh-sounding, and also unexplained words in poeattempt. In various other words, it is a deliberate use of inharmonious words, phrases, or syllables intended to create harsh sounding results. Dissonance is oppowebsite of assonance, and also similar to cacophony, which is additionally a usage of inharmonious sounds. This unpleasant combination of consonants and vowels create an awkward sound, which provides the analysis uncomfortable, and adds emotional depth to a instance or minute.

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Use of Dissonance in Everyday Life and Music

Dissonant sounds also happen in daily life. For circumstances, the sound of a crying baby and a screaming perboy are dissonant sounds. These sounds are annoying and alarming to the listeners. In music, dissonance might make listeners feel uncomfortable; but, it helps to create a feeling of tension in musical compositions.

Instances of Dissonance in Literature

Example #1:  Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister (by Robert Browning)

“Gr-r-r–there go, my heart’s abhorrence! Water your damned flower-pots, do! If hate eliminated men, Brother Lawrence, God’s blood, would certainly not mine kill you! What? your myrtle-bush wants trimming? Oh, that rose has prior clintends – ‘St, there’s Vespers! Plena gratia Ave, Virgo! Gr-r-r–you swine!”

Browning captures the attention of his readers by beginning and finishing the over poem with a word “Gr-r-r.” While in the rest of the stanza, he has actually employed dissonance.

Example #2: The Dalliance of the Eagles (by Walt Whitman)

“The clinching interlocking cregulations, a living, fierce, gyrating wheel, Four beating wings, 2 beaks, a swirling mass tight grappling, In tumbling turning clustering loops, directly downward falling.”

Whitguy has actually employed dissonance by describing eagles. He has actually unified assonance and mono and also bi-syllabic words to produce dissonance.

Example #3: Wind (by Ted Hughes)

“At noon I scaled along the house-side as far as The coal-residence door. Once I looked up – Thturbulent the brunt wind that dented the balls of my eyes The tent of the hills drummed and also strained its guyrope… The wind flung a magpie amethod and also a black- Back gull bent choose an iron bar gradually.”

See just how vowel sounds are so different in the adhering to lines that they seem clashing through each another. These harsh sounds develop disturbing effect that catches our attention.

See more: “ If You Will It It Is No Dream Big Lebowski (1998), “If You Will It, Dude, It Is No Dream

Example #4: Sunday Morning (by Wallace Stevens)

“Complacencies of the peignoir, and late Coffee and also oarrays in a sunny chair, And the green flexibility of a cockaalso Upon a rug mingle to dissipate The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.”

This is a really great circumstances of dissonance, wright here harsh-toned words interrupt the smooth and also rhythmical flow of the words and also therefore create disturbing and jarring result.

Example #5: Macbeth (by William Shakespeare)

“Of all men else I have actually avoided thee. But acquire thee earlier. My heart is too a lot charged With blood of thine currently.”

In the above lines, Shakespeare has offered blank verse and variant vowel sounds to produce unpleasant impacts.

Example #6: Carrion Comfort (by Gerard Manely Hopkins)

“Not untwist — slack they may be — these last strands of man Can somepoint, hope, wish day come, not select not to be. Scan… With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones?”

Hopkins has actually offered alliteration through high accented syllables and also dissonance that echo speaker’s inner chaos and also noise and uncomfortable situations.

Example #7: Princess Ida (by Gilbert and Sullivan)

“Woguys of Adamant, fair neophytes— Who thirst for such instruction as we offer, Attfinish, while I unfold a parable. The elephant is mightier than Man, Yet Man subdues him. Why? The elephant Is elephantine everywhere yet right here (tapping her forehead)…”

These lines have offered abrupt and also conversational style. Also, the use of dissonance brings even more abruptness in its style, leading to shock and also surprise to the readers.


The use of inharmonious sounds creates unpleasant results and also draws attention of the readers by producing amazing variations. It is discovered in poeattempt, plays, heralding, music and also daily life. Its function is to depict some type of discomfort, making the readers or the audience to feel shock and also surprise. It helps to define the situations, which are emotionally unstable and also tumultuous. However before, sometimes the poets use dissonance to produce humorous effects as well. They often usage these sounds in an unexpected manner to uncover the limits of the language.