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Personification-of-music-st-cecili-antonio-franchi 2.jpg

Personification is an ontological metaphor in which a thing or abstraction is represented as a person.[1]

The term "personification" may apply to:

  • A description of an inanimate object as being a living person or animal as in: "The sun shone brightly down on me as if she were shining for me alone". In this example the sun is depicted as if capable of intent, and is referenced with the pronoun "she" rather than "it".
  • An outstanding example of a quality or idea: "He's invisible, a walking personification of the Negative" (Ralph Ellison).
  • An artistic representation of an abstract quality or idea as a person, for example the four cardinal virtues or nine Muses.

See also

External sources

  • Unknown. "Personification". Poetry As We See It. 1 June 2003. ThinkQuest. 30 May 2008.


1. "What is personification" from SIL International