Ozymandias - Percy Bysshe Shelley

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  • Ozymandias
    • Context
      • Shelly was a romatic poet and wrote ozymandias is 1871.
      • He was politically radical and disapproved of the british monarchy.
      • Could argue that this poem is a critcisim (having and using) power in a undemocratic way and ruling as a 'tyrant'.
    • Summary
      • Describes the narrators meeting with a traveller from a foreign land.
      • The iscription beneath the statue indicates that the king was arrogant, pround and boastful.
        • The traveller told him a story about findig the shattered remains of an ancient statue of a king in the desert.
        • Overarching message that human power is temporary.
    • Key ideas.
      • Timeless messages still relevant today.
        • Abuse of power.
        • Temporary nature of political power.
      • Power of art.
        • Art, language and literature are more enduring than human powers.
          • Nothing remains of Ozymandias execpt a statue and an inscription.
      • Arrogance of rulers
        • Arrogance of Ramses and other leaders. Power has led to pride and the mistreatment of others.
    • 'Colossal wreck'
      • Colossal, meaning vast or huge, is a metaphor for his ego rather than the statue.


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