Ozymandias Notes

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  • Created on: 30-05-13 13:30
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Nabilah Chowdhury, 11Ra _ 1
Ozymandias [Percy Shelley]
Structure and form
Rhyming scheme
Doesn't stick closely; links to non-conformist desires to rebel against conventions
Theme of self-love
Tight sonnet form = concise + powerful message
Line 3 has rhyme at the start, "stand", and end, "sand" ­ gives it extra power
Lines 12 + 14; "decay" + "away" ­ ends with mystery and emptiness
Line 7 "lifeless things" doesn't rhyme in the structure of the octave, thus it stands out. However, it
rhymes with the sextet, line 10, "king of kings".
Links the two sections together; octave establishes power and sextet expresses emptiness of
words ­ the boastful claim no longer has meaning
Anonymous voice
Traveller remains impartial; allows reader to draw own conclusions
Creates ironic detachment
"Two vast"
Size of statue is linked to size of his ambition for greatness
"Trunk less legs of stones"
Trunk less = weakness, "legs of stone" = strength
Adjectives set up dichotomy between power and weakness
"Cold command"
Harsh consonants show lack of human emotion such as kindness and empathy.
"Hand that mock'd...heart that fed"
Synecdoche represents people who had power over Ozymandias
"Mock'd" is ambiguous; suggests that his face was mocking OR people were mocking him
Use of the plaque is ironic b/c the message he wanted to leave, "mighty", is the opposite of the message
received, "despair".
"Boundless" + "bare", "sands stretch", "lone and level"
Alliteration highlights bareness of landscape
The "vast" statue is placed in a desert.
Highlights its fall from grace
Once so magnificent + a symbol of power has become "sunk...shattered...lifeless"
(See River God/ My Last Duchess points)
GCSE English Literature: Poetry Ms


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