Personification

Personification is giving human characteristics, feelings and actions to animals, non-animate objects and ideas.  It is a form of metaphor.

In this illustration, death is presented as the grim reaper, Death, who is wondering whether s/he has the right house.  ctr0041l

There are so many examples of personification in literature: the arms of willow trees hang to the ground; the sun races across the sky; ship hulls plough the sea; stars hide their fires; Winter rides through the woods; Frost calls, ‘Halt!’

By the way – and absolutely nothing to do with personification or death – just a word on the gender of reapers (above) : women definitely wielded the scythe in times gone by. Here is some literary evidence from the first verse of Wordsworth’s ballad The Solitary Reaper, written on 1805:

Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.d1ea1ea2fb8da28bd136cb611d91a563-399x600x1

 

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