Ozymandias Questions and Answers
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

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What type of diction is used in the poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley?

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The poem "Ozymandias" by Percy Shelley employs elevated diction to drive home its message about the fleeting nature of power and success. Diction is another word for word choice, so examples of elevated diction in the poem can be seen in lines like:

Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away
Though the poem is framed as a story told to the poet by a traveler, nothing about the traveler's speech is colloquial or conversational. If this were a story told between friends in an everyday setting, the words "colossal Wreck" might be replaced with something far more casual like "big mess." Through the diction of these lines it's clear that the traveler who is telling of the things he's seen is not just sharing an interesting anecdote but is instead soliloquizing a bit to drive home the message of his words.
By far the loftiest or most elevated diction in the poem comes in a quote not from the traveler but from...

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