The literary device euphony is derived from the Greek word euphonos, which means “sweet-voiced.” It may be described as using phrases and phrases which are outstanding as having a wide variety of noteworthy melody or loveliness inside the sounds they create. It offers pleasing and soothing outcomes to the ear because of repeated vowels and smooth consonants. It can be used with other literary gadgets like alliteration, assonance and rhyme to create extra melodic results. Examples of euphony are typically located in poetry and literary prose.
Features of Euphony
All euphony examples share the following features:
Euphony involves the use of long vowel sounds, which might be extra melodious than consonants.
Euphony involves using harmonious consonants, such as l, m, n, r, and tender f and v sounds.
Euphony makes use of soft consonants or semi-vowels, together with w, s, y, and th or wh, extensively to create more exceptional sounds.
Examples of Euphony in Literature
Example #1: Ode to Autumn (By John Keats)
“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-buddy of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him the way to load and bless
With fruit the vines that spherical the thatch –eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later plant life for the bees…”
There are many specific words and phrases that may create euphony. However, within the given piece, Keats has used euphony inside the entire poem, which gives soothing and eye-catching consequences. Long vowel appears like mellow, maturing, load, ripeness, and semi-vowel sounds, like s and w, are exquisitely used.
Example #2: Success (By Emily Dickinson)
“Success is counted sweetest
By people who ne’er succeed.
To understand a nectar
Requires sorest need. Not one of all of the red host
Who took the flag to-day
Can tell the definition,
So clear, of victory,
As he, defeated, dying,
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Break, agonized and clear!”
In this poem, Emily Dickinson has used smooth and harmonious consonants to create euphony. For instance, s, v, and f sounds run during the poem. Such phrases are melodic in nature, hence they produce appealing sounds.
Example #3: The Lotos-Eaters (By Alfred Lord Tennyson)
“‘Courage!’ he said, and pointed in the direction of the land,
‘This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon.’
In the afternoon they got here unto a land
In which it appeared constantly afternoon.
All round the coast the languid air did swoon,
Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
Full-faced above the valley stood the moon;
And like a downward smoke, the slender stream
Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem.”
Tennyson is well-known for the usage of euphony in maximum of his poems. He makes use of long vowels and semi-vowels of gentle consonants. The lengthy vowels, such as mounting, soon, languid and slim whereas tender vowels encompass l, s, f and w sounds which can be giving experience of pleasantness.
Example #4: Macbeth (By William Shakespeare)
“…Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the ultimate syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The manner to dusty death. Out, out, short candle!
Life’s but a strolling shadow, a bad player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no extra. It is a tale
Told through an idiot, full of sound and fury,
The language of Shakespeare is a exquisite example of euphony. He has used nice, harmonious, and musical sounds in the above excerpt from Macbeth. Here, the euphonic phrases are proven in bold.
Function of Euphony
The motive of the use of euphony is to carry about peaceful and excellent emotions in a piece of literary work. The readers experience reading such portions of literature or poems. The lengthy vowels create greater melodious effect than short vowels and consonants, making the sounds harmonious and soothing. In addition, pronunciation and enunciation end up agreeable and easy. Furthermore, euphony is used in poetry and speeches to deliver messages successfully to the target market and the readers.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw