Given that medieval allegory constantly uses personification debate as a tool for analysing its characteristic polarizations and oppositions, the Excursus investigates what we call ‘personification’, and its relation to speech, debate literature, and allegory. It argues that personification is a fundamentally hybrid figure. It claims that the speakerly aspect of the trope, which Classical and medieval theorists often also called prosopopoeia (the ‘speaking figure’, a figure of rhetorical enlivenment), has been occluded by the post-medieval term ‘personification’, along with a post-medieval tendency to define the trope of this name almost exclusively in terms of the animation of abstractions or inanimate phenomena. The Excursus illustrates this claim with an analysis of Classical and medieval rhetorical texts, showing that even when personification is defined in substitutive terms, as the animation of some usually non-animate phenomenon, it is still strongly associated with speech and even dialogue. The Excursus then goes on to explore the widespread use of dialogue in Antiquity and the Middle Ages for many kinds of pedagogy, especially where accessibility was a desirable; it also notes the recurrence of the speaking personification/prosopopoeia in such contexts, with its further endowment of rhetorical energy and persuasiveness. The claim is that these contexts go a long way towards explaining the deeply embedded connection between personification, speech, debate and the work that these figures and structures do in medieval allegory.