Ozymandias Analysis

Decent Essays

Analysis of “Ozymandias”
The poem “Ozymandias” is considered one of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s best sonnets. It was written in 1817 and is still recognized today as its meaning still holds true. “Ozymandias” illustrates the fall of power and mortality through a once powerful king. This is shown through the pride of the king, the tyranny that the king ruled by, and the transience of his ruling and empire.
The king Ozymandias has a great amount of pride for what he has accomplished during his time as ruler. He had a sculptor erect a massive statue of him, which shows how highly he thought of himself. The pedestal of the statue stated "My name is Ozymandias king of kings: / Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" (Shelley, 136, 10-11). …show more content…

The line “The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:” (Shelley, 136, 8) is an indication that Ozymandias provides for his people, but does it in a repressive way. He mistreated his people to get the most of his empire and was successful in that. He was more worried about what he could accomplish as a king and did not take his peoples well-being before that. This tyrannical way of ruling is usually used to build a large powerful empire, but just like anything else time and nature will erase all of the things you have accomplished. The concept of transience is very prevalent is “Ozymandias”. Just because you hold all this power and created an empire through it, it won’t last forever. As time passes there will be others that are able to accomplish more than you and eventually what you have accomplished will be irrelevant. Especially in Ozymandias’s case because it seems that he was from a time long ago possibly before any type of documentation was in place. So the things he has done may never be remembered. You get this sense form the opening line “I met a traveler from an antique land” (Shelley, 1). This is saying that before the traveler told him of this site he hadn’t heard of Ozymandias or his empire. The description of an antique land also does a good job of describing how this area was once a large prospering empire and now nothing but ruins remain. Going back to

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