(Latin, persona, a mask; personatus, one who wears a mask, an actor). A “person” is one who impersonates a character. Shakespeare says, “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players” or persons. When we speak of the “person of the Deity” we mean the same thing, the character represented, as that of the Father, or that of the Son, or that of the Holy Ghost. There is no more notion of corporeality connected with the word than there is any assumption of the body of Hamlet when an actor impersonates that character.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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