Word of the Week

prosopopoeia (n.) – personification, as in inanimate objects


You can charge a lot for a learned Greek word like prosopopoeia, a term in rhetoric meaning “personification, as of inanimate things; imaging an absent or dead person as speaking or acting.” Prosopoeia is very effective when a master like Demosthenes or Cicero uses it, not so much when it’s badly bungled in a sermon. Prosopoeia comes via Latin prosopopoeia from Greek prosōpoiía“putting speeches in the mouths of characters, dramatization.” Prosōpoiía is composed of the noun prósōpon “face, countenance, person” and the Greek combining form –poiía “making, creating,” a derivative of the verb poieîn “to make” (ultimate source of English poesy and poetry). Prósōpon, literally “opposite the face (of the other),” is composed of the preposition and prefix pros-, pros“toward, in the face of” and the noun ṓps “eye, face, countenance.” Prosopopoeia entered English in the mid-16th century.

“prosopopoeia.” (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/

About smkelly8

writer, teacher, movie lover, traveler, reader
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