The Odyssey Review Sample: Personification

What are the brightest examples of personification found in Homer’s “The Odyssey”?

In nowadays literature world personification is defined as attribution of humanlike qualities to non-human objects. Contemporary and long-recognized authors commonly use this technique in their writings. Moreover, until recently, personification was directly linked to allegory (Paxson, 1994), so the most antique works of literature can be now associated with this writing method. One of those works is Homer’s Odyssey, which is filled with several personifications.

Dawn is most commonly personified in Odyssey, Homer gave it a strikingly god-like image in his work. Out of many examples of dawn being personified one is in The Cyclopes part: “When the young Dawn with fingertips of rose lit up the world..”. Dawn is capitalized, which contributes to the idea of its god-like personification. Moreover, dawn is given fingers; it is shifting towards a humanlike and a god-like appearance, as Greek gods are almost always portrayed as humanlike creatures.

There is another example of personification in The Cyclopes part. Through the hassle of Odysseus’s men and Polyphemus, Odysseus is trying to come up with a tactic to become the winner of this battle. However, when the prospects do not seem too perspective, he mentions death, ‘’that sat there huge; how could we slip away?’’. Death is rather an object than a human so it is being personified. It is done in order to make Odysseus’s feelings and inner struggle clearer for the readers. He understands that the death of him and his men is rapidly approaching, since it is huge and sits right on the battlefield. He also realizes that he is the one to make it disappear, in other words: to save his men.

There are far less personification examples in Homer’s Odyssey than in his other works, nevertheles this technique still plays its role being reflected in such instances as the Dawn and the death.


Gebera, C. P. (2015, October 7). The Odyssey: Figures of Speech and the Use of Imagery.
Retrieved April 21, 2016, from
Paxson  J.J. (1994). The Poetics of Personification. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press personification. 2016. In
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