What are some figurative devices in "Ozymandias"?

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"Ozymandias" by Shelley is replete with figurative devices. The poem employs idiomatic language, as in the metaphor of "reading" the statue. It uses synecdoche, where "The hand that mocked them" represents the King, and understatement in the word "mocked". The phrase "King of kings" is a hyperbole, and "decay" symbolizes the King's death. The word "colossal" may allude to the Rhodes Colossus, and "Boundless" is another hyperbole. Lastly, the ruined statue symbolizes the King's fall, adding a layer of irony.

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Shelley uses a wide array of figurative, or non-literal, language in "Ozymandias," giving great depth to the sonnet. The way that the poet uses the word "read" is an idiomatic use of the word. Usually we think of printed words being read, but we also speak of reading the minds or emotions of others. By using the word "stamped" in the next line, the poet further suggests the metaphor of reading.

"The hand that mocked them" is an example of synecdoche, using a part to represent the whole, because it was the King, not just his hand, who mocked them. The word "mocked" is certainly an understatement; while the powerful King may have literally mocked his subjects, chances are his treatment of them included much worse, such as brutal punishments and executions. "The heart that fed" is both synecdoche and a metaphor: The King, not just his heart, "fed" upon his people like a predator devours its prey.

"King of kings" is hyperbole; the King ruled his own kingdom, but there were certainly many other kingdoms that he had no control over and that did not even know of him. The word "decay" suggests symbolism; although buildings and structures can be said to decay, we normally think of the word in relation to bacterial decomposition of living matter, so the "decay" of the statue represents the rotting of the King's corpse, which has gone the way of all flesh. The word "colossal" might be an allusion to the Rhodes Colossus, a gigantic mythical statue that fell in an earthquake. "Boundless" is hyperbole, for the sands are not infinite.

The poem also contains further symbolism as well as irony. The statue, constructed on order of the King to symbolize himself, now lies wrecked in the sands, symbolizing the King's own fall into obscurity. The irony lies in the fact that the gigantic pride of the King has resulted in a gigantic fall.

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Percy Bysshe Shelley's classic poem, "Ozymandias," is remarkably lacking in figurative language such as simile, metaphor, hyperbole, or personification.

The descriptions of the ruined statue of Ozymandias use precise, literal language:

"two vast and trunkless legs of stone";
"half sunk, a shattered visage [face]";
"frown / And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command";
"the pedestal";
"the decay of that collosal wreck."

The final image of the poem could be considered a personification: "The lone and level sands stretch far away."  The sand is likened to a lonely person that "stretches."

The straightforward style in which this poem's images are delivered is part of what makes this ironic little story so memorable.

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What poetic devices are used in "Ozymandias"?

There are a number of poetic devices at work in Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Ozymandias." Three of the most effective are the alliteration, metaphor, and personification that appear in the work. They are made even more effective when they are combined, as in the two examples I will discuss.

On line five, the phrase "sneer of cold command" presents alliteration, or the repetition of an initial consonant sound in "c," to further enhance the reader's understanding of the expression on the broken statue's face. The hard "c" sound near the word "sneer" suggests that the ruler personified was very distanced. This can be understood from the command being "cold" (which is also a metaphor, as it makes the reader think the rule was freezing), but also the repeated short "c" also shows off that separation between the rule and his subjects.

On line fourteen, the two appear again in the phrase "the lone and level sands stretch." Here we see alliteration in the repeated "l" sound of "lone and level" and "sands stretch," but unlike the alliteration in line five, the repetition here creates a long-lasting sound, which suggests that the crumbled statue, and the memory of the ruler's terribly legacy, will go on forever, never changing. This is also suggested by the use of "level sands." Finally, the use of "lone" and "stretch" personifies the sand, to leave the reader with the image of solitude, despite being surrounded. The sands are not "lone"; they are literally surrounded by more sand. By using this phrase, Shelley stresses the idea that one can be isolated even when immersed in a sea of humanity.

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

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 the base of the statue the traveler saw: "Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!" This makes sense as the text described here is the inscription on a monument built in antiquity, so of course there would be a bit of pomposity to the language.
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What type of diction is used in the poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley?

Diction means choice of words.  The diction in Ozymandias is lofty, slightly unusual, and it paints vivid pictures.

By "lofty," I mean the author often chooses longer words that would be familiar to an educated person.  For example, the author uses "antique" instead of "ancient," "visage" instead of "face," and "colossal" instead of "huge."  This is formal, classroom diction, not the diction of the home or street.

Sometimes the poem uses a word that is not exactly loftier than the expected word, but it is a little different.  For example, the fallen statue is called a "wreck" instead of a "ruin" as we would expect.  Wreck is more often applied to ships, not ancient stone statues.

Sometimes these slightly odd word choices help the rhythm or rhyme of the poem.  For example, "Nothing beside remains." If the poet had written, "Nothing else remains," that line would not have had the right number of syllables.  "The lone and level sands stretch far away" sounds better than "The lonely, level sands stretch far away."  Stone in a desert does not really decay, but "Round the decay" rhymes with "far away" later, and matches it thematically as well. 

Finally, sometimes the author's diction allows him to paint a vivid picture more quickly than with more ordinary words.  "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone" is more concise than saying "The two remaining legs of a huge statue, the rest of which has fallen down," and it is more vivid too, since it emphasizes both the size and oddity of the legs.  "Those passions ... Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things" is more concise and more vivid than saying "The subject's attitudes, which are still clearly visible on the face of the statue."

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What are the figures of speech used in "Ozymandias"?

"Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley is an unusual sonnet.  It has fourteen lines; yet, in the three quatrains of the poem, the thought from each is carried over to the next quatrain.  The couplet is not two lines unto themselves nor do the couplet lines rhyme.  His rhyme scheme is atypical of the usual sonnet rhyming pattern.

The poem is told in first person. The narrator remembers meeting a man from an aged land who tells a story. The traveler came upon the ruins of a gigantic statue. The legs were still standing. However, the face of this statue was partially down in the sand. It portrayed a man with a scowling frown. He obviously had been a great leader. The sculptor was able to see into the character of the leader and his passions. But the stones are lifeless.

The statue's pedestal had been engraved with a quote:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair

The great king Ozymandias [an ancient name for Rameses  the II] wanted to be remembered for the great architecture and other things that he brought to Egypt. Sadly, the sand, wind, and time brought all of it down to ruins and much of it became buried beneath the sand.

When the traveler looks at the pedestal and sees the ironic phrase, it seems pathetic and almost humorous. The entire poem is a metaphor for the foolishness of a man who thinks that anyone can harness time.  Ozymandias boasted of his accomplishments, which now are nothing but fodder for the sand and the wind.

A mighty king had a statue labeled so that people would know that his kingdom was wondrous in its beauty. Now, it is in ruins with most of it completely gone. Left are the legs, part of the face, and a pedestal with an engraving addressing his fabulous accomplishments. If the pharoah, could only see what was left to show mankind, what would he think?

The poem has a couple of lines of alliteration:

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away

which emphasize the loneliness and barren ruins out in the middle of nowhere.

The irony of the entire reference to Ozymandius becomes the center of the poem. The great Rameses II and his statue lay in ruins from the natural deterioration from sand and time.

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What type of figurative language is used in the poem "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley?

Figurative language allows poets and writers to express concepts in unusual ways, making associations where ordinarily there would be no connection. Simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, hyperbole and so on are all used to make descriptions and create images in the mind's eye. By using figures of speech, readers can get a visual picture of what the author or poet wants to express.  

In "Ozymandias," Shelley very quickly destroys any sense of grandeur surrounding the statue. The mocking tone confirms the irony in the words inscribed on the stone. Nothing lasts forever, not even the perceived sense of worth of "Ozymandias, King of Kings." By using figurative language, Shelley is able to create sharp contrast between what Ozymandias may have perceived would be the benefit of his statue and the reality of the situation, wherein his pride in his "works" reveals nothing more than a "colossal wreck." Hyperbole in the use of "colossal" allows the reader to imagine the sheer scale of destruction—far more than just a statue but a whole empire.

Shelley continues to explain the magnitude of the apparent loss of Ozymandias's kingdom by using alliteration, a sound device, evident in the words, "boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch..." This adds emphasis to the endlessness and uselessness of the situation in which the statue now lies and helps Shelley confirm his message. Shelley delivers a warning that no matter how "mighty" a person considers himself to be, the danger is that he will be reduced to nothing more than "trunkless legs of stone." How much better would it be to be remembered as a man of compassion rather than to be remembered for "a sneer of cold command." 

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What type of figurative language is used in the poem "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley?

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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