English Lit Poetry- Ozymandias

  • Created by: Humaa 123
  • Created on: 23-09-18 13:40
What is the poem called?
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Who is the author?
Percy Bysshe Shelley
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Which period was it written in?
1750-1830 (Romantic Era)
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What is it about?
*The narrator meets a traveller who tells him about a statue standing in the middle of the desert.
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What is it about? 2
*It is a statue of a King who ruled over a post civilisation. His face is proud and he arrogantly boasts about how powerful he is in an inscription on the statues base.
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What is it about? 3
However, the statue has fallen down and crumbled away so that only ruins remain.
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What are the feelings and attitudes?
*Pride-The ruler was proud of what he'd achieved. He called on other rulers to admire what he did.
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What are the feelings and attitudes? 2
*Arrogance-The inscription shows that the ruler believed that he was the most powerful ruler in the land-nobody else could compete with him. He thought he was better than those he ruled.
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What are the feelings and attitudes? 3
*Power-Human civilisations and achievements are insignificant compared to the passing of time. Art has the power to preserve elements of human existence, but it is also only temporary.
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"I met a traveller from an antique land"
Shelley frames the poem as a story to make it clear that the narrator hasn't even seen the statue himself, he's only heard about it. This emphasises how unimportant Ozymandias is now.
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"Two vast and trunkless legs of stone"
Emphasises the size and statue but also shows that the statue is incomplete.
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"Stand in the desert"
The setting suggests an absence of of life and vitality.
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"a shattered visage"
Ironic-Even a powerful human can't control the damaging effects of time.
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"Sneer of cold command"
The sculptor understood the arrogance of the ruler.
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"Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things"
Having "survive" and "lifeless" on the same line hints at how art can outlast human power, but the ruined statue shows that ultimately art cannot immortalise power.
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"The hand that mocked them"
"Mock" can mean to ridicule or to create a likeness of something-perhaps the sculptor intended his statue to make fun of Ozymandias.
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"king of kings", "ye Mighty"
Arrogant and powerful-he even challenged other rulers.
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"Look on my words"
Having a stressed syllable at the start of the line heightens Ozymandias's tone of command.
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"ye mighty, and despair!", "Round the decay"
"Despair" and "the decay": Irony- he tells the other rulers to "despair" because of the size and grandeur pf his "works", but power is temporary and ultimately unimportant, like his.
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"Of that colossal wreck"
The ruined statue shows how human achievements are insignificant compared to the passing of time.
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"boundless and bare", "lone and level"
Alliteration- emphasises the feeling of empty space in the surrounding desert.
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"stretch far away"
The desert is vast and survives far longer than the broken statue, emphasising the insignificance of the statue and of Ozymandias.
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The poem is a sonnet, with a volta at line 9 like a Petrarchan sonnet. However, it doesn't follow a regular rhyme scheme, perhaps reflecting the way that human power and structures can be destroyed.
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It uses iambic pentameter, which is also disrupted. The story is a second-hand account, which distances the reader even further from the dead king.
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The narrator builds up an image of the statue by focusing on different parts of it in turn. The poem ends by describing the enormous desert, which helps to sum up the insignificance of the statue.
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There's nothing left to show for the ruler's arrogant boasting or his great civilisation. The ruined statue can be seen as a symbol fore the temporary nature of political power or human achievement.
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Shelley's use of irony reflects his hatred of oppression and his belief that it is possible to overturn social and political order.
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Language of power
The poem focuses on the power of Ozymandias, representing human power. However, his power has been lost and is only visible due to the power of art. Ultimately, nature has ruined the statue, showing that nature and time have more power than anything.
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Angry Language
The tyranny of the ruler is suggested through aggressive language.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Who is the author?


Percy Bysshe Shelley

Card 3


Which period was it written in?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What is it about?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is it about? 2


Preview of the front of card 5
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