Ozymandias by Percy Shelley

  • Created by: Iris02
  • Created on: 14-05-19 18:33
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  • Ozymandias by Shelley
    • Context
      • Shelley and his friends, Horace Smith had challenged each other to write a poem on the same subject
      • New discovery of statue of Ramesses ii
        • Inspired Shelley
    • Key themes
      • Power
        • The power of an individual leader, and how strong they are percieved to be at that time
          • Often arrogance about their strength
        • How the power of an individual can be completely be forgotten after their end of rule/life
          • Nature will eventually take over and overpower the people
        • Those in power are often disliked
          • despite this, it is clear they are very passionate
      • Nature
        • Nature will eventually take over
          • Is more powerful than people
        • Will never be forgotten/disregarded unlike that of a person
    • Language
      • Story-like language
        • "I met a traveller from an antique land",
          • Taken on a journey somewhere "antique"
            • Somewhere ancient, old but equally just as precious
            • Antiques are usually associated with something that someone once owned and loved
      • Shelley's list of what this traveller has seen sounds large and vast, compared to the bare desert sand
        • "Two vast trunkless legs of stone; a shattered visage"
          • "Stand in the desert"
        • All that is left is ruins of what once was
          • Despite it being only ruins, you can tell what the statue was like, and it's sculpture
            • "Sneer of cold demand"
              • The sculpturer has mocked him here, so he was likely disliked by his people
            • "Those passions read"
            • "The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed"
              • The hand being raised is often seen as a sign of power in statues
              • The heart feeding off of his power
              • Mocking signifying he thinks he is better than others
      • "king of kings"
        • Biblical language suggesting the most powerful, and forever so
          • Ironic as he no longer has this power
        • "Look upon my works"
          • There is nothing left but sand and desert
          • Irony and mockery as there is nothing, now, for them to look at
            • He no longer has power, all that is left is a pedestal and trunkless legs
    • Structure
      • In the form of a sonnet - 14 lines
        • Often about love - possibly the irony that this is about someone who is now forgotten, but was once "loved"
        • Fragmented - fragments of a statue, no longer pieced together

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