OZYMANDIAS

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IRONY & RHYTHM

  • thinks power will be immortal but instead it crumbles like statue
  • poem is sonnet form (love) suggests ozymandias' love for himself/ego
  • second hand account - highlights insignificance of ozymandias, how very few people have seen for themselves the statue he created to be immortalised
  • no regular rhyme scheme- fragmented structure = kings shattered power + reflects thow human structures/power is temporary (mix of different sonnet represents shelley's rebellious nature
  • caesura and enjambment - sense of fragmentation & mirrors broken statue and how power has crumbled.
  • line 10- ozymandias' voice breaks iambic pentameter reflects belief that he's above law
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THEME: POWER OF HUMANS

  • imperative verb 'look' - controlling
  • repetiton 'king' - wishes to portray himself as being omnipotent suggests he's trying to deify himself
  • caesura line 12 - ozymandias' power has tome to end temporary nature
  • ruined statue is metaphor for current political state
  • juxtaposition of 'colossal' and 'wreck' - contrast between former power and current state.
  • 'cold command' - abused his power and was arrogant
  • irony to highlight contrast about ozy's belief and his insignificant achievements compared to boundless desert
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THEME: PRIDE

  • alliteration of harch 'b' and 'c' sound shows ozy has belittiling and an arrogant nature 'cold command' shows he thought everyone else was inferior to him.
  • negative language used to describe ruler comes as result of pride 'sneer'
  • these reflect shelley's own feelings towards kind and those who rule in cruel manner.
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KEY IDEAS

  • arrogance of rulers: arrogance of Ramses and other leaders, power has led to pride and the mistreatment of others 
  • power of art: art, language and literature are more enduring than human power - nothing remains of Ozymandias except a statue and an inscription
  • messages still relevant today: temporary nature of political power &
    abuse of power
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CONTEXT

  • He was politically radical and disapproved of the British monarchy
  • could argue that this poem is a criticism of wielding (having and using) power in an undemocratic way and ruling as a tyrant.
  • Shelley was a romantic poet- poem written in 1871
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