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What are examples of personification in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream?

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izzygtennis | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 29, 2009 at 4:49 AM via web

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What are examples of personification in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 13, 2013 at 7:16 AM (Answer #3)

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Personification is a figure of speech in which an author gives human characteristics to animals or inanimate objects. To find personification, all we have to do is look for objects or animals that are described as thinking, moving, feeling beings. We can actually find several examples of personification in the very first scene.

The first example can be seen in Theseus's opening speech, "O, methinks, how slow / This old moon wanes! She lingers my desires" (I.i.3-4). While the first line is not obviously personification because the moon wanes regardless of being likened to a human, the second line certainly is. Addressing the moon as a "she," especially a "she" who intentionally is prolonging the fulfillment of someone's desires is most definitely a means of personifying the moon.

Hippolyta continues to use personification in her response to Theseus. She states, "Four days will quickly steep themselves in night; / Four nights will quickly dream away the time" (7-8). Since the first line describes days as plunging themselves into nighttime, this is another example of personification because days can't move of their own accord. Likewise, nights don't literally dream, making the second line another example of personification.

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chiarabella | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 8, 2012 at 1:49 AM (Answer #2)

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one of the first lines of the play- where Theseus calls the moon a she in his first set of lines i believe.

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