The UVic Writer's Guide


Personification (Prosopopeia)


Personification is the attribution of human qualities to inanimate objects or abstract concepts.

A reference to thunder booming "angrily" personifies thunder by giving it emotion. When we speak of jealousy "rearing its ugly head," we are personifying jealousy by giving it human form. Personification heightens a reader's emotional response to what is being described by giving it human qualities and therefore human significance.


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Copyright, The Department of English, University of Victoria, 1995
This page updated September 23, 1995