Percy Bysshe Shelley's Ozymandias Essay

Percy Bysshe Shelley's Ozymandias Essay

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Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote this poem

"Ozymandias" to express to us that possessions

do not mean immortality. He used very strong

imagery and irony to get his point across

throughout the poem. In drawing these vivid and

ironic pictures in our minds, Shelley was trying to

explain that no one lives forever, and nor do their


Shelley expresses this poem’s moral through a

vivid and ironic picture. A shattered stone statue

with only the legs and head remaining, standing

in the desert, the face is proud and arrogant,

"Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions

read"(lines, 4-6). On the pedestal of the statue,

there are these words, ‘"My name is

Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works,

ye Mighty, and despair!’"(Lines, 10-11).

However, all that surrounds the statue is a desert.

This poem is written to express to us that

possessions don’t mean immortality, the king

who seemed to think that his kingdom would

remain under his statue’s haughty gaze forever,

ironically teaches us this through his epitaph.

"Look on my works, ye Mighty, and

despair!"(Line, 11) becomes good advice, though

in an opposite meaning than the king intended,

for it comes to mean that despite all the power

and might one acquires in the course of their life,

material possessions will not last forever. In the

end, the King’s "wor...

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