Ozymandias

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  • Ozymandius
    • Form
      • Second hand account: Distances the reader even further from the dead king
      • Poen = Sonnet with a volta at line 9
      • No regular rhyme scheme: Reflects the way that human power and structures can be destroyed.
    • Structure
      • The poet builds up an image of the statue by focusing on different parts of it.
      • The poem ends by describing the enormous desert which helps to sum up the insignificance of the statue.
    • Irony
      • "Shatter'd visage": Ironic because even a powerful human can't control the damaging effects of time
      • "Vast" + "Trunckless" + "Stone": Emphasises size and stature but also shows that the statue is incomplete
    • Language of power and anger
      • Anger
        • King of kings: Arrogant and powerful. He even challenged other rulers.
        • "Sneer of cold demand": The sculptor understood the arrogance of the ruler
      • Power
        • "Survive" + "Lifeless": On the same line, hints at how art can outlast human power.
        • "Boundless and bare" + "Lone and level": Alliteration emphasises the feeling of empty space in the surrounding desert.
    • Feelings and attitudes
      • Pride: The ruler was proud of what he'd achieved. He called on other rulers to admire what he did.
      • Power: Human civilisations and achievements are insignificant compared to the passing of time.
    • Context
      • Shelly was a romatinc poet.
      • Romantic poets believed in emotion rather than reason.
      • Shelly disliked monarchies, power and the oppression of ordinary people.

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