Guide to Literary Terms

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What is the definition of persona?

The definition of persona in literature is the author's character or voice in work.

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Last Updated May 26, 2023.

A persona is a voice in which an author writes a literary work, which may be their own voice or that of a fictional character or narrator. The term can also be applied to any character in a written work. 

In Jungian psychology, a persona is a term for someone's public personality, the way someone behaves to navigate or blend in with a particular environment. It differs from the inner personality, which might have interests or desires that conflict with someone's persona.

The word persona entered English from Latin, meaning "person."

Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping is narrated by the persona of Ruth, the novel's protagonist.

see: characterpoint of viewmonologue

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