Alliteration in The Odyssey

Alliteration typically helps readers and listeners remember phrases and enjoy a poetic or rhythmic feeling in the language. The alliteration that exists in this poem is the result of translation. The original Greek version of this poem does not have alliteration. However, the translator used this poetic device not only to make the translation sound more poetic to the English reader.

Alliteration Examples in The Odyssey:

Book I 1
"stout and sturdy and strong..."   (Book I)

Note the use of alliteration here in the repetition of the "s" at the beginning of each word. Homer didn't use alliteration in this poem, and there aren't that many examples of it in ancient Greek texts. It is instead a byproduct of the translation into English, which attempted to preserve the poetry of the original by using modern tools like alliteration and assonance.

"boiling blood bubbled..."   (Book IX)

Homer does not want the audience to feel sorry for the Cyclops’s death because he is not a respectable creature. Homer contrasts contrasts the violent action being performed with this bouncy alliterative phrase, which lightens the tone of the passage.