Power and Conflict poetry



  • Shelley was a Romantic poet well known for his radical and anti-establishment idea. Ozymandias can be seen as a political statement against any one person or group gaining power and wealth and shows that such can be lost.
  • The poem is inspired by Rameses II.
  • Shelley's deliberate subversion of the broken patriarchal sonnet represents the breakdown of both Ozymandias' power and civilisation.
  • Ozymandias has a strict rhyme scheme Iambic pentametre reflects his attempts to control but the broken sonnet contradicts this.
  • Semantic field of deterioration 'trunkless' 'decay' 'wreck' and 'shattered'
  • Assonance emphasisies the Pharaoh's dismissive attitude 'wrinkled lip'
  • Narrative perspective shows Ozymandias' insignificance in the present- third hand infomation 'I met a traveller'

The poem is about the temporary nature of power. Nature and time is shown to be far more powerful with the irony being that Ozymandias believed he would be remebered forever whereas he ineveitabley will be forgotten.

  • Links to LondonPower of Man        Links to My Last Duchess - Power of Man          Links to Prelude Power of Nature
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  • Dharker is often concerned with themes of cultural, geographical movement, freedom and gender. Dharker presents paper as powerful in the world through its uses even though the first quality is thinness and fragile. 
  • One interpretation is that Dharker is commenting on the importance that civilisation places on paper despite it's fragility. Her contrast of paper records and brick buildings therefore be intended to highlight the vulnerability of written records and show that these will not stand the test of time.
  • Conditionality clause shows uncertainty 'If buildings were paper'
  • Semantic field of light joins fragility, nature, beauty, permanence 'luminous' and 'daylight'

Paper is presented as having the power to change things despite its fragility. The speaker suggests that lives could be constructed or reconstucted out of paper making a connection between paper and human skin.

  • Links to Ozymandias Power of Man / Power of Nature
  • Links to Prelude Power of Nature
  • Links to Checking Out Me History Identity
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  • Wlilfred Owen  began writing aout his war experiences when he was suffering from PTSD in 1917. Exposure was written after Owen had returned to the front.
  • Owen's use of the present tense throughout this poem has the effect of creating immediacy for the reader and also makes the soldiers' experiences seem never ending.
  • The soldiers are losing their faith in God because of their predicement they are cold spiritually, emotionally, and literally.
  • Nature has taken their home as well as attacking them on the battlefield 'innocent mice rejoice'
  • Alitterartion with the consonant cluster is discordant and disruptive to the line 'flowing flakes that flock'
  • Paradoxical phrase- soldiers are ready for action 'But nothing happens' 

The poem descirbes the experiences of a group of soldiers in a trench during World War 1, the soldiers are freezing and exhausted. They feel attacked by the weather conditions. They feel more at risk fromthe cold than the bullets. Soldiers are loosing faith - some of them will die.

  • Links to Ozymandias Power of Nature    Links to War Photographer Effects of Conflict          Links to Charge Of LB Reality of Conflict
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