In William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," Brutus, in speaking to his motives for joining the conspiracy, personifies ambition, saying "The lowliness is young ambitions ladder ... he then into the ladder turns his back." As personification attributes human actions or ideals to inanimate objects, seeing the ladder as "ambition" is personification.
This ascribing of human qualities or actions to an object, animal, or ideal includes such statements as "the city yawned, stretching like a cat, then fell asleep." Personification gives writing character, pulling the reader more deeply into the story. Such an example from "Julius Caesar" is Marrulus' statement that "the Tiber trembled beneath her banks," and Calpurnia's fearful breath, "... and graves have yawn'd and yielded up their dead."