'Ozymandias' by Shelley

  • Created by: sp.15
  • Created on: 10-12-19 20:31
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  • Ozymandias by Shelly
    • ideas about power and conflict
      • Ozymandias was an arrogant, power-crazy ruler.
      • Ozymandias presented himself as powerful to make his people fear him.
      • The poem is ironic: even the most powerful rulers can't defeat time and nature.
      • the sculptor mocked Ozymandias; his people feared him, but did not respect him.
    • Context
      • Ozymandias is really the Egyptian pharaoh (king), Rameses ll
      • Shelley was a romantic poet who hated rulers who misused power.
    • Language
      • Words to suggest the decay of the sculpture: "trunkless legs", "colossal wreck"
      • Language suggesting Ozymandias was an unpleasant bully: "frown" , "colossal wreck"
      • Alliteration links his manner with power: "sneer of cold command"
      • Ozymandias' words about himself are arrogant: "king of kings"
    • Form
      • The sonnet form is complete, unlike the sculpture.
      • The Volta (turning point) after the octave (after line 8) introduces his arrogant boast about being "king of kings"
      • The traveller speaks most of the poem; the first speaker is a frame narrator which makes the scene in the desert appear more realistic.
    • Structure
      • Use of the caesura after "nothing besides remains" to show the irony of Ozymandias' boast - the statue, like his power, has not lasted.
      • The beginning of the poem emphasises' power by showing us the huge legs of the sculpture
      • The ending shows nature's greater power: "lone and level sands stretch far away"
    • Quotations to learn
      • "vast and trunkless legs of stone"
      • "sneer of cold command"
      • "king of kings"
      • "nothing beside remains"


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