A review of percy bysshe shelleys sonnet ozymandias

Instead, despair and be afraid of it. Now, the leader is gone, and so is his empire. The reader also does not know where the speaker first met this sojourner. From the second line on the reader is painted a vivid picture with words such as vast and trunkless.

What makes the whole so successful is the way the poet has seamlessly woven all three together, the final image of the distant, endless sands contrasting powerfully with the now hollow words of Ozymandias.

ozymandias analysis line by line

Near them, on the sand, Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; And on the pedestal, these words appear: "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

This broken, weathered statue lies in a desert, a desolate place that goes on for miles and miles.

Ozymandias theme

Is this Shelley yet again breaking with tradition, defying the establishment? In this point, he also uses alliteration to show a contrast between the past in which Ozymandias was huge and strong and the present in which he totally loses his power. This line provides an interesting dichotomy often found in the most terrible of leaders. Shelley had read of the statue in Diodorus Siculus, a Roman writer, who had described it as intact. First, his hands show that the pharaoh mocked his people, yet his heart was not all bad: he fed and cared for his people, as well. It was written in competition with his friend Horace Smith, who wrote another sonnet entitled "Ozymandias" and published it a month after Shelley in the same magazine. Perhaps it also reveals how the sculptor "mocked" Ozymandias. This assertive statement is swollen with pride. He eventually married Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, the daughter of philosopher William Godwin, and eloped with her to Europe, living in a circle of artistic friends and lovers which included for a time Lord Byron.

The pause here mimics the traveller's intake of breath before telling his story, dramatising the moment as well as creating distance between the description of the statue and the poet's retelling, almost as if recalling from memory. The title indicates which land the traveler has visited: The Greeks called Ramses II, a powerful Egyptian pharaoh, Ozymandias, so it is easy for the reader to recognize the antique land as Egypt, one of the oldest civilizations in the world.

ozymandias by percy bysshe shelley summary and analysis

So did the sonnet form appeal because he wanted to invert the notion of love for someone? Ozymandias stands the test of time and is relevant for this and every other age. Even now her statues can be found throughout the former British Empire, sitting in pride of place in many of the cities around the world.

Norton, 8 Callaghan, Madeleine.

ozymandias critical analysis

Monarchs and dictators and tyrants are all subject to change sooner or later - and Shelley's language reflects his dislike for such rulers. Shelley's choice of a sonnet within which to work his words is fascinating, for the sonnet is a tight, packed field of regularity.

Ozymandias analysis genius

His face is one of power, yet it is not described as a beautiful face. He had invaded Egypt a few years earlier and fought with the British to keep control of the Nile and its lands. Analysis line by line 1 Reiman, Donald H. Surely no one could surpass his greatness? The lines that follow are much clearer than the first, however, and it is clear to the reader what, exactly, is occurring in the sonnet. There is a "wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command" in line 5. By calling himself "King of Kings", he alludes to God and believes he is greater than all other men. Shelley uses several within the poem and each one has significant effects. Shelley only revealed the lips of the statue.
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Analysis of Poem "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley