What is personification and why would an author or poet use it?

  • Google+ icon
  • LinkedIn icon
  • 705 views

Personification is when something inanimate/not living (or sometimes an animal) is presented as human and living, for example, in Act I, Scene II of “Romeo and Juliet”,

“When well-appareled April on the heel
Of limping winter treads.”

Shakespeare has here personified the month of April and the season of Winter - April cannot wear clothes, as "well-appareled" suggests, and it cannot walk, let alone tread on the heel of Winter, which itself cannot limp and does not have a heel! This technique makes the description far more vivid - rather than just saying that Spring was coming and overtaking Winter, we are given a beautiful image that really draws attention to this change in seasons. It is far more effective and memorable than a simple description.

Natalie H. GCSE Biology tutor, A Level Biology tutor, GCSE English Li...

About the author

is an online GCSE English Literature tutor with MyTutor studying at University College London University

How MyTutor Works

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist.

95% of our customers rate us

Browse tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok