GCSE English Literature paper 2:Poetry-Power and Conflict

  • Created by: emwalker1
  • Created on: 19-02-18 21:26



POET BACKGROUND:(1792-1822), one of the romantics, wealthy family, privileged family, expelled for atheist beliefs, not successful during his lifetime, deeply political, believed in non-violent protest.


-During King George III reign, took part in many oppressive wars which Shelley didn't agree with,  could be the inspiration for the poem.

-Romanticism-contains an embrace of the natural world using more ordinary language, at the time romantic poets often set poems in foreign lands and had a touch of the supernatural, Ozymandias set in a foreign land with rich language which captures a more intense experience.

-Ozymandias was an Egyptian pharaoh, meant to be in charge during the biblical exodus of Moses, led many battles to protect and extend Egyptian empire, similar to George III, therefore, resembling the current king. British museum recently announced it would hold a statue of Ramesses the Egyptian King.

OVERVIEW: A narrative describing the meeting of a traveller who speaks about a desert with a statue of a king stood in it. The King ruled a prior ancient civilisation and he is arrogant and boats about his power by the inscription at the base. Only the ruins remain as over the time the stone has crumbled.
ANALYSIS: I met a traveller from an antique land, Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand, Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; And on the pedestal, these words appear: My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

FORM: Sonnet structure, however, fails to follow a regular rhyme scheme which could indicate human power and control is easy to destroy like the diminishing statue. Iambic pentameter used however this is also disrupted which also shows the loss of control and importance, the second-hand account causes the reader to be more distant from the king and the story as if he is no longer important and perhaps forgotten.

STRUCTURE:Imagery used by focusing and zooming on different parts of the state by turn which deconstructs it and takes away it's power as a whole and then ending by zooming out to show the statue to be very small comparative to the entire desert and could represent the power of humans to be tiny compared to the power of nature. LANGUAGE: Irony is strong in the poem because the Ozymandias speech is boastful and there are now only ruins to show for his arrogance which can be a symbol for the temporary nature of human power which can be linked to Shelley's hatred of human political interim and


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