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What is personification?

Rochelle Feil Adamowsky

on 11 July 2013

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Transcript of Personification

What is it?
Giving human traits to
something that isn't human
Where can I find
Shakespeare loved to use personification in poetry ...
Sonnet 64
When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
The rich proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the wat'ry main,
Increasing store with loss and loss with store'
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded to decay.
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death, which cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.
What is being personified here?
"By Time's fell hand defaced"
Time has a hand, is defacing.
Personifies time to express the destruction of age.
"When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore"
What human characteristics does the ocean have?
"For Beauty is a witch against whose charms faith melteth into blood"
— Claudio Act 2, Scene 1,
Much Ado About Nothing
What is personified here?
What is the effect?
Gain on another personified noun
What is personification's purpose?
To heighten the emotion of a subject
Example: The angry skies rained down on the cowering people.
To create sympathy for an object
Example: The lonely copy of "Catcher in the Rye" sat on the
dusty library shelves for years before Sarah rescued it from oblivion.

To create mood
Example: The parched desert took out its wrath on the travelers, leaving them hot, exhausted, and unable to think.
Where can you find it?
What emotion is being conveyed here?
What is the mood here?
Why use personification here?
Express the relentlessness of the sea
Personification is found
in lots of poems
Such as ...
The Approach of Winter
by William Carlos Williams
The half-stripped trees
struck by a wind together,
bending all,
the leaves flutter drily,
and refuse to let go
or driven like hail
stream bitterly out to one side
and fall
where the salvias, hard —
like no leaf that ever was —
edge the bare garden.
"the leaves flutter drily,
and refuse to let go"
What noun is personified?
"or driven like hail
stream bitterly out to one side
and fall"
What is the adverb?
Is it usually applied only to humans?
How is it done?
Another example:
The sun smiled upon
the people below.
Choose an inanimate object
Such as: Think, talk, wrestle,
Then, put them together in a sentence
Such as: Flower, blanket, computer
Now, choose a verb that applies to people
Or choose an adverb that applies to people
Such as: Thoughtfully, comfortably, happily
Such as:
The blanket sat comfortably on the couch.

For example:
Try it for yourself.
And plays ...
Full transcript