Comparison Between My Last Duchess And Ozymandias

1085 WordsDec 9, 20175 Pages
Compare how poets present powerful rulers in Ozymandias and in one other poem (My Last Duchess) Both initially poems follow a strict structure, which presents the idea of power and control immediately. For example, in Ozymandias, the fourteen-line poem has a similar form to that of a Shakespearean sonnet, a form of poetry that could represent strict tradition. However, as the poem continues, the rhyme scheme breaks down into more of a free verse, with less structured rhyme and the introduction of caesura, for example “Nothing beside remains. Round the decay” in line twelve. The crumbling of a traditional structure could mimic the destruction of the “colossal wreck” that is the statue, or more metaphorically the breakdown of Ozymandias’s…show more content…
Shelley’s poem and depiction of Ozymandias could be a symbolic way of promoting his views against the monarchy, as he depicts Ozymandias as a tyrant with harsh descriptions such as “a sneer of cold command” and mocks him with the juxtaposition of “king of kings” and “colossal wreck”. However, instead of obviously putting forward his views and risking negative exposure, Shelley distances himself from the poem with intriguing use of multiple perspectives. The poem begins with “I met”, a first person introduction, but quickly switches to the traveller’s perspective as Shelley depicts what the traveller saw. In this way, he subtly puts across his socialist views without incriminating himself through symbolism and distancing himself from the narrative. In this way, the poem presents two powerful rulers, with Ozymandias symbolising King George. In My Last Duchess, power and control are presented through objects. For example, the curtain used to cover up the painting acts as a symbol of the Duke’s control over his Duchess even now she’s dead, as he tells the envoy that “none puts by the curtain I have drawn for you but I”. This implies that even though she’s dead, he still wants to be able to keep her under his control, and treats her portrait like a possession, which he tried to do to her when she was alive. This represents his

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