Some examples of famous poems that make use of alliteration are Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven," William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" and the epic poem "Beowulf." In "The Raven," Poe uses alliteration within the sentence, "Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary." In this example, the alliteration is created through the repetition of the sound formed by the "W" in "once," "while," "weak" and "weary."
Alliteration is created by using the same consonant sound in the beginning of a series of words. In "Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare again makes use of the literary device to open his poem when he writes, "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes; A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life." The sound of the "F" is repeated throughout the course of the first line and is used to establish a rhythm and an overall musical quality to the work.
In addition to rhythm, alliteration can also be used to call the reader's attention to a particular portion of a poem. In "Beowulf," the author uses the alliteration formed between "death" and "decay" within the line, "Over all this sad scene there was the odor of death and decay" to emphasize the dark connotations of "death" and "decay," which increases the foulness of the work's atmosphere for the reader and sets the scene.