In the poem “Ambition” by Wilfrid Scawan Blunt, the author uses alliteration to move the structure of the poem forward. Alliteration refers to the author using a repetition of the same or similar sounds. The author uses alliteration repeatedly in the poem as a means to advance to the next idea. In the beginning of the poem, the narrator wishes for “wisdom deeming wisdom fair.”
He repeats the word “wisdom,” but also the sounds. Both “wisdom” and “deeming” play on the sounds formed by the consonants of “d” and “m.” The author explains that he desires this learning. He again uses alliteration in this line. He “learned how vain such learnings were.” His repetition of the words propels the poem forward in its movement.
Two lines after this, the author chooses to repeat the sounds of “w” and “l.” “And woman’s love awhile” highlights these sounds. Next, the narrator desires power. His belief that wisdom and love will bring his desired ambition to him has been proven false. The narrator now wishes to have power over his fellow man. He believes this will satisfy his ambition and desires. Of course, the reader already knows that this too will prove false.
The author again uses alliteration. In this part, he chooses to focus on the sound of the consonant “w.” The line “And wrought for weal or woe with sword and pen” is a wonderful example of alliteration. The reader already knows that in the end of the poem, the narrator will not have satisfied his ambition. At the end of the poem, the narrator only asks for peace and silence.