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In the movie 'V for Vendetta' you have for example (bold part):

Evey: Who are you?

V. : Who? Who is but the form following the function of what and what I am is a man in a mask.

Evey: Well I can see that.

V. : Of course you can, I’m not questioning your powers of observation, I’m merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.

Evey: Oh, right.

V. : But on this most auspicious of nights, permit me then, in lieu of the more commonplace soubriquet, to suggest the character of this dramatis persona.

V. : Voila!
In view humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the “vox populi” now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin, van guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V.

Evey: Are you like a crazy person?

V. : I’m quite sure they will say so.

How do you call sentences like this?
And do you know some other ones?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The technique itself is called alliteration. I'm not sure what I would call an alliterative sentence other than, well, an alliterative sentence. Wikipedia has an article on alliteration, listing quite a few examples (and mentioning V for Vendetta).

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I've found a new one:

Boom!! Behold, a public bulletin board, built of both brilliance and barbarity by bastards with boners. This bastion, no mere bulwark of boredom, is a brutal barrage of blistering bullshit, barely benevolent... but behind the bigotry and boobs, beyond the bitter broadcasts of bragging buffoons: here be the body politic. A brotherhood of blasphemy, blessed with more balls than brains, battling the bland, the bogus, the benign. Bedlam? Bring it on! But I babble... better to be brief. We are 'B'.

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Please provide the name of where you got these copy-pasted citations from, and a link if available. See the meta question on What to do about missing source attributions: Copying, Linking, Attributions, and Plagiarism for discussion about this. –  tchrist Jul 8 at 1:00

There are lots of sentences here.

(1) In view humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate.

This is a fragmentary sentence. Consider "A humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate" ... and what? The whole verb phrase is missing. This is poetic language. To my knowledge there is not a specific word for this.

(2) This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the “vox populi” now vacant, vanished.

"This dog, no mere poodle, is a an example of the "poodle" breed, (which is) now vanished." There's nothing particularly odd about that one.

(3) However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin, van guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.

"However, this poodle has vowed to defeat the cats, (who) are at the forefront of vice and (graciously allow?) the oppression of those who make their own choices."

Nothing syntactically odd here.

(4) The only verdict is vengeance;

Normal.

(5) a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.

Another fragment. There isn't a top level verb phrase here. "A poodle, doing doggy things, for doggy things are useful and ought to be done as often as possible."

That's not to say that there's anything wrong with these sentences.

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I'm pretty sure this was not what the asker had in mind. –  ShreevatsaR Nov 26 '10 at 5:59
    
What did they have in mind? –  Alan Hogue Nov 26 '10 at 6:02

I agree with RegDwight that it's alliteration, surely, but I would put it down more as a verbal tour de force, similar to Cyrano de Bergerac's coruscation of repartee in Rostand's play of the same name. When he is insulted by an oaf, who tells him he has a big nose, he responds with a speech that purports to be an 'assistance' to the oaf but is at once a profound mockery and a demonstration of how much better a verbal duelist Cyrano is:

Ah, no, young man, that is not enough! You might have said, dear me, there are a thousand things ... varying the tone ... For instance ... Here you are: — Aggressive: "I, monsieur, if I had such a nose, nothing would serve but I must cut it off!" Amicable: "It must be in your way while drinking; you ought to have a special beaker made!" Descriptive: "It is a crag! ... a peak! ... a promontory! ... A promontory, did I say? ... It is a peninsula!" Inquisitive: "What may the office be of that oblong receptacle? Is it an inkhorn or a scissor-case?" Mincing: "Do you so dote on birds, you have, fond as a father, been at pains to fit the little darlings with a roost?" Blunt: "Tell me, monsieur, you, when you smoke, is it possible you blow the vapor through your nose without a neighbor crying "The chimney is afire!"?" Anxious: "Go with caution, I beseech, lest your head, dragged over by that weight, should drag you over!" Tender: "Have a little sun-shade made for it! It might get freckled!" Learned: "None but the beast, monsieur, mentioned by Aristophanes, the hippocampelephantocamelos, can have borne beneath his forehead so much cartilage and bone!" Off-Hand: "What, comrade, is that sort of peg in style? Capital to hang one's hat upon!" Emphatic: No wind can hope, O lordly nose, to give the whole of you a cold, but the Nor-Wester!" Dramatic: "It is the Red Sea when it bleeds!" Admiring: "What a sign for a perfumer's shop!" Lyric: "Art thou a Triton, and is that thy conch?" Simple: "A monument! When is admission free?" Deferent: "Suffer, monsieur, that I should pay you my respects: That is what I call possessing a house of your own!" Rustic: "Hi, boys! Call that a nose? You don't gull me! It's either a prize parrot or a stunted gourd!" Military: "Level against the cavalry!" Practical: "Will you put up for raffle? Indubitably, sir, it will be the feature of the game!" And finally in parody of weeping Pyramus: "Behold, behold the nose that traitorously destroyed the beauty of its master! and is blushing for the same!" — That, my dear sir, or something not unlike, is what you could have said to me, had you the smallest leaven of letters or wit; but of wit, O most pitiable of objects made by God, you never had a rudiment, and of letters, you have just those that are needed to spell "fool!" — But, had it been otherwise, and had you been possessed of the fertile fancy requisite to shower upon me, here, in this noble company, that volley of sprightly pleasentries, still should you not have delivered yourself of so much as a quarter of the tenth part of the beginning of the first ... For I let off these good things at myself, and with sufficient zest, but do not suffer another to let them off at me!"

For the character of V, I feel the alliteration is not the object of the exercise, it is merely the vehicle. He is intent on displaying verbal prowess to mock, to bait, and to show how much smarter he is than his opponent.

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Good point and a nice quote. +1. –  RegDwigнt Nov 25 '10 at 23:19
    
As such it's an example of constrained writing both for the writer of the piece, and within the narrative, for the character. –  Jon Hanna Jan 17 '13 at 21:50

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