What is Persona?

A persona is a person who speaks in a poem. Persona is a Latin word and it means mask. In a poem persona refers to a person who may or may not represent the author himself. It is wrong to assume that the poet speaks in his or her poem.

Often, the same poet will wear the mask of a different speaker in different poems. Thus, the same poet may adopt the persona of a farmer in one poem and that of a soldier in another poem.

Although the persona often serves as the “voice” of the author, but one should not be confused with the author only, because the persona may not accurately reflect the author’s personal opinions, feelings, or perspective on a subject. Famous literary persona includes a wife-murdering Duke who speaks in the poem “My Last Duchess” (1842).

Published on 23 Jan. 2014 by Kedar Nath Sharma

Related Topics

Robert Browning: Biography

My Last Duchess: Analysis