The cultural movement of Romanticism that originated in Europe, lasted for almost half a century. Poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley 1.
Tutorfair is a website where you can find and book a local tutor. Every lesson supports our mission to make tutoring fair. Shelley's poem imagines a meeting between the narrator and a 'traveller' who describes a ruined statue he - or she - saw in the middle of a desert somewhere.
The description of the statue is a meditation on the fragility of human power and on the effects of time. Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half-sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed; And on the pedestal these words appear: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Form The poem is a sonnet - a fourteen-line single stanza form that originated in Italian love poetry and that was popularised in England by Shakespeare.
Most sonnets break into two parts: In this sonnet, the first part sets up the frame narrative and then describes the statue and the second part ironically relates the king's words and adds the final description of the desert setting.
The poem is written in iambic pentameter, but there are several variations in the pattern, including reversed first feet 'Nothing beside remains' and 'Tell that its sculptor…'.
Language Ozymandias calls himself 'king of kings' - a phrase taken from Biblical language - which smacks somewhat of arrogant pride.
It could imply that his subsequent obscurity was a punishment from God - a subject that Shelley considered in several of his other poems.
Shelley coined several other powerful phrases in this poem and the final lines have entered the language and have been used for the titles of several books and games.
Both 'boundless and bare' and 'the lone and level sands' use alliteration to remain memorable - as does the sneer of 'cold command'. The 'colossal wreck' simply refers to the statue again; 'colossal' means 'giant', with a particular reference to giant statues like the Colossus of Rhodes and 'wreck' means anything that has been broken or ruined.
Caesurae A caesura is a break of meaning and rhythm within a line. Shelley uses several within the poem and each one has significant effects. The first falls after 'Who said: The pause here mimics the traveller's intake of breath before telling his story, dramatising the moment as well as creating distance between the description of the statue and the poet's retelling, almost as if recalling from memory.
The second caesura comes after 'Stands in the desert. The final caesura repeats this effective trick, following 'Nothing beside remains. By contrast, much of the rest of the poem is formed of long, complicated sentences that stretch on and on, like the desert or time itself.
Interest in Ancient Egpytian history was fashionable in the period and the importation of statues to British and French museums was beginning in earnest. It isn't clear whether Shelley would have seen statues himself and whether he was inspired by a real piece of sculpture.
Irony The statue is of course ruined - the legs remain but the body has fallen. The face 'visage' lies on the sand, 'half-sunk' and 'shattered', making it hard to recognise.
According to the inscription, which has survived, the king Ozymandias set up the statue to draw attention to his 'works' - but his own face has not survived, let alone the empire he may have once ruled.
The stretching of the 'lone and level sands' in every direction cover any buildings or rich farmland that may have flourished here. However, one survivor beside Ozymandias' words is the sculptor's skill: Nameless, it is the sculptor whose works are still valued, just as Shelley's poem survives from his own day.
With Tutorfair you can browse through a selection of great tutors to find the right one for you.Percy Shelley: Poems study guide contains a biography of Percy Bysshe Shelley, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Not up to Shelley’s standard, perhaps – but not a bad effort. Ozymandias’ empire may have gone, but the poem written in his name has endured. In the last analysis, Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’ is a fine reminder that everything – even mighty empires – is doomed to fall to dust.
Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley..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.
Page/5(87). An analysis of the poem by the only person known to have examined the whole work at the time of the original discovery appeared in the Times Literary Supplement: () includes a poem Percy Bysshe Shelley as the namesake of the speaker, Shelley's poem "Ozymandias" lends its name to an episode of Breaking Bad.
Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley felt inspired to write the poem "Ozymandias" due to archeological discoveries being made in Egypt as a result of Napoleon's defeat of Egypt in , nearly 20 years.
This scroll was the poem, With A Guitar, To Jane, in which Shelley mixes the playful with the poignant.
The guitar which Shelley gave to Jane Williams is now in the Bodleian Library. The projection of himself into the character of Ariel, a kindly spirit committed to the service of Ferdinand and Miranda (that is, Edward and Jane Williams) is a pretty conceit.