GCSE Power and conflict




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Ozymandias Themes


DEATH AND MORTALITY - desert symbolises the passing of time - erases the passing of time - erases the traces of Ozymandias - death comes to us all nature is the more powerfull force and will eventually outlive everybody

POWER - Ozymandias's power was absolute - the face of the statue and the words on the pedestal reveal his character - no sympathy for him

PRIDE - the vast size of the statue (ruler's pride) - pride demonstrated by the ruin of the statue - name = greek 'ozium' (air) and 'mandate' (rule) - meaning 'ruler of nothing'

Form Language And Structure

sonnet written in iambic pentameter - sonnets are usually love poems, but here political ideas are explored - metre changes in lines 11 and 13 (his boast)

Oxymoron in line 13 emphasises the destruction of the stature

- 'king of kings' - pride contrasts with the meaning of his name

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Ozymandias Quotes

"antique" - ancient / old / lost

"sands" - nature is more powerful than man - hourglass - time runs out

"king of kings" - thinks he is the best

"shattered visage"- face has been forgotten - identity is gone suggests it no longer has a purpose.

 "decay" - decreasing - losing significance

"Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'" exclamatory sentence The tone is strong and authorative - ironic because nobody is listening.

"boundless and bare" Used to emphasise how forgotten the statue is.

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London Context

Blake held racial social and political views initially supported the French revolution started to question the blood shed from this

Held the church responsible for many evils and social issues.

Believed in social and racial equality ever cry of every man

Believed in good and evil in us all without one we wouldn’t have another “mind forged manacles”

Describes the exploitation he sees the prostitute solider and chimney sweep life short lives of lost innonces for someone else’s gain

Misery and despair is relentless and the fault of the wealthy government church chartered

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London Stucture And Themes

Four quatrains to show the repeated suffering of the common people dramatic monolog tells the reader about the suffering first-hand account of this 

A Dreary City - The overall theme of “London” is that the city is a dark and miserable place. Words like “hapless,” “weakness,” “woe” and “manacles” contribute to that sense of gloom.

Rich Versus Poor - The poem opens with an obvious depiction of both the rich and the poor . During the time of the writing, powerful individuals were granted charters to control the streets “I wander thro’ each charter’d street, Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.”

Cycle of Misery The imagery and examples Blake provides in this poem show a place of never ending misery for the people of London. The “mind-forg’d manacles” are shackles, they are created in people’s minds and represent loss of freedom. The third stanza is full of stark imagery the poetic voice uses this to imply social issues.

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London Quotes

“Wondered” - leisurely taking a stroll but it is quite shocking fist person poetic voice

"charter'd" - Possession Owned by the wealthy bankers and business people

"Marks of weakness, marks of woe." - What he sees the scars of people facial gestures sadness if there face “woe” meaning sad but extrema sounds woeful alliteration sounds heavy hearted  “weakness” means venerable”

"Every" - Repetition of the word “every” emphasises extreme desperation there is no escape from the powerless postion of the common person.  He is seeing this in everyone out of fear

"The mind-forg'd manacles I hear" - Metal is heavy it’s made by humans imprisonment of people mentally the mind is in prison “manacles” handcuffs he is hearing there suffering in his mind and how restricted and trapped they are

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