In the art of literature there are several genres and subgenres: poetry, tragedy, romance, comedy, etc. each of them has its own characteristics, formats and techniques. However, there is one thing they have in common: the use of rhetorical figures. The rhetorical figure is a way of saying things, like a kind of literary formula. There are many rhetorical figures such as metaphor, metonymy, hyperbole, ellipse, pleonasm, among others. One such figure of speech is the prosopopeia, also known as personification.
Prosopopeia consists in giving a human dimension to inanimate elements. The writer gives a human meaning to something that has no life, that is, he personalizes.
The prosopopeia resource is very useful, because what could not be expressed because it is impossible has the possibility of communication
It’s like making what you cannot speak speak. Thus, it is possible that death, an object , an idea or even an element of nature has a means of communication.
It is used quite frequently in literature, as well as in everyday language
Possibly the reason is the need to explain things from human criteria and feelings . When we say that the sea is relaxed, this is an idea that is perfectly understood, but it has a non-logical sense, as the sea does not have any kind of sensation. Thus, we use prosopopeia to humanize reality , give a close meaning to our values and ideas.
The prosopopeia also fulfills an aesthetic function
People communicate orally and in writing, trying to do it in an attractive and beautiful way. In this sense, the prosopopeia gives a certain beauty to words. By saying that the morning is sad or that the guitar is alone, we give a poetic touch to the language.
There is a little-known literary genre, the gregueria. This is a short, poetic sentence with a touch of humor. It is quite common for the gregarious to use the prosopopeia as a literary resource, as this way it is possible to express ideas in an original way. Let’s look at two very simple examples: “The rats are the soldiers of the sewers” and “The blank paper awaits the arrival of words“.
These two gregaries are possible because they break a rule of reality and something non-human starts to have a human meaning. Finally, don’t forget that prosopopeya wants to also exaggerate in the way someone talks, with a recharged and arficious style.
Finally, it should be noted that prosopopeia also means exaggerating the way one speaks, with a loaded and artificial style.