Ozymandias Theme Analysis

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llison and Shelley’s Theme of Power’s Inevitable Collapse
The American author Erin Morganstern says, “All empires must fall eventually. It is the way of things” (Goodreads). In this quote she explores the idea that nothing lasts forever, especially when it comes to power, an idea explored through literature. Harlan Ellison’s ‘Repent Harlequin’ Said the Ticktockman explores a society where being late is punishable with death, and the Harlequin rebels, throwing off the mechanical structure of society, demonstrating the idea of power collapsing. Percy Bysshe Shelley also illustrates this idea in his poem Ozymandias, where a traveler finds the destroyed ruins of a statue that has an inscription telling the observer to look upon his works and despair. The distinctive uses of symbolism and irony in ‘Repent Harlequin’ Said the Ticktockman and Ozymandias craft a theme that even the most powerful dynasties will fall, attempting to show rulers the foolishness of thinking they will be in power forever.
Both Ellison and Shelley use symbolism to illustrate the destruction of power in their works. In Ellison’s short story, the master schedule is symbolic of the Ticktockman’s tyrannical power over the society at that time. When Ellison writes, “...the System was maintained. It was the only expedient thing to do. It was, after all, patriotic. The schedules had to be met,” (Ellison), it shows how pivotal the schedule is for the Ticktockman’s power. If a schedule being met has become a
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