A Comparison Of The Life Of 'Ozymandias' By Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Percy Bysshe Shelley died before seeing how influential and glorified his work would become. Shelley lived during the late 18th and early 19th century, during the industrial revolution. Seeing the evolving world, Shelley wrote for nothing more than to deliver urgent messages concerning humanity, humanity’s future, and who the powers at be should be. Shelley didn’t see the glory he deserved during his lifetime because his radical views of anti-tyranny were expressed in his poetry, driving them to underground distribution, but after his death he inspired countless other literary artists including including Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, and Upton Sinclair and became regarded as a major romantic poet. Shelley exchanged his ideas with a group of visionary…show more content…
This poem describes a story told you by a passing traveler of a ruined statue of a king, Ozymandias, seemingly in a desolate desert. On the statue in is inscribed, “‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’/Nothing beside remain” (“Ozymandias” 10-12). Upon examination of the surrounding land, we realize that the once vast kingdom around the statue has been taken back by the desert, leaving the ironic message on the statue. This poem shows Shelley’s ideas of how all is temporary, especially mankind and our achievements. Showing romantic values, Shelley believed nature is much greater than man and no matter how big your kingdom, mather nature will always take back what was always…show more content…
King George is “old, mad, blind, despised, and dying”; the princes have become cold and selfish draining their country dry, fighting for the throne; the people are starving, depressed, and their crops are failing; the army and church are consumed with greed and takes from its own people; the laws remain unenforced, and Parliament is “Time’s worst statute unrepealed”(“1819” 12) These are all symptoms of a failing government, which I interpret leads Shelley to his last lines, and prediction, of his poem, “Are graves, from which a glorious Phantom may/ Burst, to illuminate our tempestous day”(“1819” 13-14). I think Shelley was convinced that the only hope in humanity is through violent revolution or “a Phantom of light from graves”. I believe this poem warns humanity of handing its power to the one percent, especially when that party reaps the most benefits of its advanced nation. Again implying democracy is the only system of government that can possibly work for the whole when given the power of
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