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What type of figurative language is used in the poem "Ozymandias"?

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tessia18 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 29, 2009 at 6:48 AM via web

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What type of figurative language is used in the poem "Ozymandias"?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 29, 2009 at 8:59 AM (Answer #1)

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The primary element of figurative language in the poem is that of irony. All that remains of the great "works" of this "king of kings" is the remains of the monument Ozymandias had ordered to be carved in his own image, a reflection of his egotism. Ozymandias once taunted the "Mighty" to look upon his power and "despair." All that remains of his empire, however, is a decaying "colossal wreck," broken and half-buried in the "lone and level sands" that "stretch far away." The contrast between the arrogance of Ozymandias' words and the seemingly endless emptiness surrounding his "vast and trunkless legs of stone" emphasizes the poem's irony.

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emilyg612 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 29, 2009 at 9:22 AM (Answer #2)

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There is element of personification, although the poem is about the statue of a man.

There is also element of irony and of some hyperbole.

The voice of Ozymandias is heard as an overarching arrogant and omniscient (all-knowing) voice, giving even more irony to the destruction of his statue.



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