Ozymandias Poem Analysis

813 Words4 Pages
YO, this Glory is Outrageous!:Ozymandias by Percy Shelly

Do you ever wonder what happens to cold leaders? In the poem Ozymandias, Percy Shelly uses irony, symbolism, and tension to demonstrate a theme of loneliness. As one reads this paper, hopefully they will get either a new perspective or a strengthened perspective about this poem.
“Look upon my works ye mighty and despair!” written upon the tomb of the great Ozymandias. The work is all his. The work has nothing to do with the artist who sculpted the great sculptures and certainly doesn’t have anything to do with Ozymandias’s people. Because they are his too. It’s quite ironic how Percy Shelly plays this out using irony to demonstrate a theme of loneliness. Ozymandias seems too great to compare to anyone else. The great “king of kings” ended up buried alone in the middle of the desert. He had so much power, but was so alone and had no one to share it with. How could he? He seems to only have fed his people to pat himself on the back and tell himself he was a good leader; When later he would mock them as if they were lucky he fed them in the first place. Ozymandias is so self-consumed that it seems ironic how his sculptures show his “sneer of cold command”. It appears as if the artist was somehow making fun of him and stabbing him in the ankle because he is too tall to notice. It also seems ironic how on Ozymandias’s tomb, instead of the words of his people, there is a quote from Ozymandias himself telling everyone how great he was. As if his people were so fed up with his abuse, they are now laughing at his cold dead body. This makes Ozymandias appear as if he was always alone with no one to confide in.
In the poem Ozymandias, Percy Shelly also uses irony to demonstrate a theme of loneliness. The poem starts off talking about a” traveler from an antique land”. A “traveler” symbolizes a lonely person because the traveler is singular and to be considered a traveler, one must usually be away from home, linking back to loneliness. Also the word “antique” symbolizes loneliness because to be an antique of value, the antique has to be somewhat rare, one of a kind, alone. The “traveler from an antique land” talks about a “half sunk, shattered village in the sand”.
Get Access