Please give two examples of personification in the Cyclops section from The Odyssey.

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Being a 9th grader, and the fact that you cite "The Cyclops", I bet you are reading The Odyssey as a translation from your literature book. In that section, there are several instances of personification but this one is the best:

When Dawn spread out her fingertips of rose / the rams began to stir, moving for pasture. (line 388)

Dawn is a time of day, it doesn't have fingertips - thus we have personification. I think this shows the time of day when day begins and slowly but surely reaches across the land just like a hand.

Dawn is cited again, lines later:

When the young Dawn with fingertips of rose touched the world, I roused the men.  (line 519)

A final example for you is in line 372:

death sat there huge;

Death cannot sit. Thus, personification.


juanamac eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The chapter on the Cyclopes (with Polyphemus, and all the humourous word play about "nobody") is full of foreshadowing about how difficult it will be for Odysseus to actually make the journey home.

Personification, or giving an inanimate object human characteristics is used in this chapter sparingly.

Dawn is referenced as having fingertips. "the young dawn stretched up her fingertips..." describing how the rays of sunlight at the very start of the day reached up, as fingers. Strikingly similar to people, when we wake up and stretch out our arms to help awake.

Death too is given a personification, that of sitting. "Death sat there huge" - As death is clearly not a person, sitting is the personification. This image implies that death is merely waiting, and large in the mind of the hero, an ominous image for the reader to understand what Odysseus is going through.