As the major theme throughout this sonnet explains how no matter how great our undertakings may seem in our eyes, they will one day all pass away, become over and done, and go back to the state of nothingness. Nevertheless, a concurrence that is found throughout the majority of this story, and that actually coincides with our major theme, is the clash between life and death. The poem starts out by recounting two “living” people retelling their encounter with a dead civilization and empire. Then, near the core of the poem, it talks about a "sculptor" who used to be living, but over a couple of thousands of years later he is dead, but before his death, he was able to "stamp" the "passions" on a piece of stone which means "lifeless things", and turned into what was dead into a vehicle in "which yet survive". As the battle occurs within this piece of literature, it is noticeable how the theme and the battle relate towards each other. As what once was lifeless, was gifted life, so to speak, and then returned back to the novel state of nonexistence.
Imagery is a very important literary element that helps the reader visualize the setting and theme of a sonnet or poem. In this sonnet there is a lot of death. The figure represented in the statue is dead along with the civiliz...
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...ogant, passionate face.
With juxapotation, imagery and diction all put together in this sonnet create a dramatic yet a powerful message. Life and Death is at the heart of this sonnet. The great Ozymandias is dead along with the civilization which he belonged. Everything has been destroyed. The message of the poet lies in the transience of things. Nothing lasts forever. The statue represents the idea that nature rules over all. The cities, the statues, the tombs, all have been lost to the weather, sands, and time. Even the greatest of all leaders must respect the power of the natural world. William Freedman stated clearly in his critical essay that, “When ‘nothing beside remains,’erodes to nothing at all, and when the lone and level sands stretch not far away, but everywhere in sight, when time, in other words, is utterly triumphant, it will lose its power over man.”
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