Critical Appreciation The poem Ozymandias is a satiric poem intended to convey the message that power and pride are vain and temporary possessions that make human beings arrogant and egotistical but time will treat everything and everyone equally. The situation of the poem is one in which the speaker is narrating to us what a "traveler from an antique land" had told him. Shelley The traveler had described a broken statue of an ancient tyrant to this speaker.
Near them on the sand lies a damaged stone head. The face is distinguished by a frown and a sneer which the sculptor carved on the features. On the pedestal are inscribed the words "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Analysis Shelley's irregular sonnet on the fragments of a huge statue of an Egyptian pharaoh begins with a statement that arouses the interest of the reader at once: I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert.
The mention of a traveler is a promise of a story. The story is a characteristically Shelleyan one about tyranny and how time makes a mockery of the boastfulness of even the most powerful kings. The story is over and Shelley's point is made before the reader realizes that he has been subjected to a moral lesson.
The fine beginning is followed by a condensed and vigorous account of what the traveler saw in addition to the two huge legs standing in the desert: Nothing more except the empty desert. Shelley puts the words of the inscription in effectively ironic contrast with the surroundings. The rulers of the world, "ye Mighty," are told by Ozymandias, "king of kings," to look upon his works and despair of emulating them.
Now one looks and sees nothing whatsoever. Instead of the architectural marvels promised by the inscription, "the lone and level sands stretch far away.
The works that were to be the despair of other pharaohs have completely disappeared. Even the gigantic statue of himself that he had commissioned has been reduced to two legs, a shattered face, and a pedestal. The superiority of Shelley's choice of details and of the vigor of his diction are splendidly illustrated by a comparison with the octave of his friend's sonnet: In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone Stands a gigantic leg, which far off throws The only shadow that the desert knows.
Nought but the leg remaining to disclose The site of that forgotten Babylon.
Both poets remove the city of Thebes, the site of the statue, from their poems for artistic purposes. Ozymandias was the name by which Ramses II, a pharaoh famous for the number of architectural structures he caused to be erected, was known to the Greeks. Shelley had read of the statue in Diodorus Siculus, a Roman writer, who had described it as intact.
He had obviously read about it in some other source also since he knew that the statue was no longer intact.While the poetry of the time is typified by lyrical ballads reflecting nature and beauty, revolutionary ideas are an underlying theme.
Ozymandias is an ode published by Shelley in and is considered Shelley’s most famous short poem, as well as the most anthologized. Jul 22, · buy poem analysis of ozymandias now! This is a sample Critical Analysis of "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley from attheheels.com – the most affordable and reliable essay writing company in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Ozymandias demonstrates the characteristics of a sublime Romantic poem such as beauty, passions, nature, political liberty, creativity and the sanctity of the imagination The poem tells the partial story of a once mighty king whose works are now in waste.
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GCSE Power and Conflict Poetry: In-depth analysis of the similarities and differences between the two poems, looking at perspective, tone, imagery, structure and language. Percy Bysshe Shelley, learn more about this poet's life.