Pathetic Fallacy

By: Karla Harvey and Mackenzie Cormack
 Pathetic Fallacy is a literary device, where
human like qualities or emotions are given
to inanimate objects in nature.
 It is a form of personification.
Examples Angry clouds
 Cruel winds
 Sad flowers
 Confused stars
Used in Shakespeare’s Macbeth to describe the murder of
 “The night has been unruly. Where we lay,
Our chimneys were blown down and, as they say,
Lamentings heard i’ th’ air, strange screams of death,
And prophesying with accents terrible
Of dire combustion and confused events
New hatched to the woeful time. The obscure bird
Clamored the livelong night. Some say the Earth
Was feverous and did shake.” (Act II, Scene iii)
 “The night has been unruly”, human emotion of “unruly”
applied to “night”.
 “New hatched to the woeful time”, “Woeful” applied to
Used in the poem “I Wandered Lonely as a
Cloud” by: William Wordsworth.
“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,”
A Pathetic Fallacy is used to apply the
emotion of “loneliness”, to the “clouds”.
 It is most commonly used in poetry.
 It is sometimes used in prose for detail and
it is occasionally used in pastoral elegies. A
pastoral elegy is a type of poetry mourning
death in the pastoral language of shepherds
and farmers.
 Personification is a broader term, were any
human quality can be given to any inhuman
like noun.
 Pathetic Fallacy is a type of personification,
were specifically human emotion is applied
to inanimate objects in nature.
 The term was first coined by John Ruskin in
his novel Modern Painters in volume III, part
IV (1856).
 Pathetic Fallacy, (2013),, Retrieved November 22, 2013,
 Pathetic Fallacy, (2013), Retrieved
November 21, 2013, from
 Pastoral Elegy,, Retrieved November 20th, 2013, from
 Pathetic Fallacy, (2013),, Retrieved Nov 22nd, 2013,
You have five minutes (it will be
timed) to write as many pathetic
fallacies as you can. We will have two
winners, whoever’s pathetic fallacy we
enjoy the most and whoever has the
most correct pathetic fallacies.
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