quotes, notes, timelines & more

Home » Shakespeare's Works » Elements » Figures of Speech » Figures of Speech by Name » Personification

Personification

Personification is endowing an inanimate object or abstraction with human qualities or abilities. “Nor shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,” Sonnet 18. I differs from anthropomorphism, which portrays animals as having human abilities such as speaking.

Personification is an example of:
Substitution

How oft, when thou, my music, music play’st

Read the Sonnet

How oft, when thou, my music, music play’stAnastrophe, Antanaclasis, Epizeuxis & Metaphor
Upon that blessèd wood whose motion sounds
With thy sweet fingers when thou gently sway’st
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds,Anastrophe & Synecdoche
Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap
To kiss the tender inward of thy hand,Personification

Whilst my poor lips, which should that harvest reap,
At the wood’s boldness by thee blushing stand.Metaphor & Personification

To be so tickled they would change their state
And situation with those dancing chips,
O’er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait,Catachresis
Making dead wood more blest than living lips.
Since saucy jacks so happy are in this,
Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss.Ellipsis, Hyperbaton & Zeugma

Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war

Read the Sonnet
Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war
How to divide the conquest of thy sight.
EpanadosMine eye my heart thy picture’s sight would bar,
EllipsisMy heart mine eye the freedom of that right.
My heart doth plead that Conceitthou in him dost lie,
A closet never pierced with crystal eyes;
But the defendant doth that plea deny,
And says in him thy fair appearance lies.
AphaearsisTo ’cide this title is impanelèd
A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart,
And by their verdict is determinèd
The clear eyes’ moiety and the dear heart’s part,
As thus: mine eyes’ due is thy outward part,
EllipsisAnd my heart’s right, thy inward love of heart.Personification
Source:

Source Type:

Figures of Speech:
, , , ,

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Read the Sonnet

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?Rhetorical Question
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,Metaphor & Hyperbaton
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;Personification
And every fair from fair sometime declines,Antanaclesis
By chance or nature's changing course untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fadeMetaphor
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,Personification
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.Anaphora and Anadiplosis

I come no more to make you laugh

Read the Quote

I come no more to make you laugh. Things now
PersonificationThat bear a weighty and a serious brow,
Sad, high, and working, full of state and woe,
SynecdocheSuch noble scenes as draw the eye to flow,
We now present.Hyperbaton
Those that can pity here
May,
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line Prologue

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Themes:
, ,

Figures of Speech:
, , , ,

In sooth I know not why I am so sad

Read the Quote

Antonio
In sooth I know not why I am so sad.
It wearies me, you say it wearies you.
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,Epistrophe
What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn.
And such a want-wit sadness makes of meHyperbaton
That I have much ado to know myself.
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 1

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

Figures of Speech:
, , , , , , ,

Connected Notes:
The Sadness of the Merchant

Now is the winter of our discontent

Read the Quote

NowHyperbaton is the winter of our discontentMetaphor
Made glorious summerMetaphor by this son of York,Paronomasia
And all the clouds that louredMetaphor upon our houseMetonymy
In the deep bosom of the ocean MetaphorburiedHyperbaton & Ellipsis.
… continue reading this quote

An untimely ague Stayed me a prisoner in my chamber

Read the Quote

Buckingham
An untimely ague
Stayed me a prisoner in my chamber when
Those suns of glory, those two lights of men,Anaphora, Pun & Metaphor
Met in the vale of Andren.
Norfolk
’Twixt Guynes and Arde.
I was then present, saw them salute on horseback,
Beheld them when they lighted,
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 2

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

Themes:

Figures of Speech:
, , , , , , ,

Connected Notes:
Fire and Gold

I find here that Don Pedro hath bestowed much honor

Read the Quote

Leonato
I find here that Don
Pedro hath bestowed much honor on a young
Florentine called Claudio.
Messenger
Much deserved on his part, and equally
remembered by Don Pedro.Anapodoton
He hath borne himself
beyond the promise of his age, doing in the figure
of a lamb the feats of a lion.

… continue reading this quote

Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?

Read the Quote

Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?
What tributaries follow him to Rome,
To grace in captive bonds his chariot-wheels?Pysma

You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
Knew you not Pompey?Anaphora
Many a time and oftHendiadys
Have you climb’d up to walls and battlements,
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 36

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Figures of Speech:
, , , ,

Connected Notes:
Pandering, Contempt and the Masses, Politics and the People

Was this gentlewoman the daughter of Gerard de Narbon?

Read the Quote

Lafew
—Was this gentlewoman
the daughter of Gerard de Narbon?

Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead,
excessive grief the enemy to the living

Countess
His sole child, my lord, and bequeathed to
my overlooking.Ellipsis
I have those hopes of her good
that her education promises.
… continue reading this quote