The Romantics looked back to the medieval concept of the sublime, the feeling of awe and fear at something transcendent. The poems were written and published before the statue arrived in Britain, but the reports of the statue's imminent arrival may have inspired the poem. Beside this, Shelley reminds the readers of their mortality through the realization that our earthly accomplishments, so important to us now, will one day be finished. Percy Shelley's short poem Ozymandias , w as written as a sonnet. He describes the desolate landscape in which he saw the ruins of a once-glorious empire. Romantic writers believed in the strength and beauty of nature.
Even the gigantic statue of himself that he had commissioned has been reduced to two legs, a shattered face, and a pedestal. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed; And on the pedestal, these words appear: My name is Ozymandias King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! Unless you were a Biblical scholar, the name of Ramses would have meant little to you. The tone of the poem involves an element of schadenfreude , the gloating over someone elses misfortune, in that it describes how the mighty Rameses Ozymandias , King of Upper and Lower Egypt, and the great civilization he once ruled, had pas … sed into oblivion and were now just broken statues in the desert sands. Major Themes: The poem comprises emotions of a traveler, who imagines the story of ruins of a statue in a desert. At this time, members of Shelley's literary circle would sometimes challenge each other to write competing sonnets on a common subject: Shelley, and wrote competing sonnets on the Nile around the same time. This gives the poem rhythm and pulse, and sometimes is the cause of rhyme. Analysis Shelley's irregular sonnet on the fragments of a huge statue of an Egyptian pharaoh begins with a statement that arouses the interest of the reader at once: I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert.
Irony The statue is of course ruined - the legs remain but the body has fallen. With you can browse through a selection of great tutors to find the right one for you. Breakdown Analysis of Ozymandias Ozymandias is considered to be a Petrarchan sonnet, even though the rhyme scheme varies slightly from the traditional form. This technique of giving immanent objects human like characteristics allows for the readers to better identify with what is portrayed on the page. Keats, poet friend of Shelley, saw the head for the first time in 1819, so the story Shelley tells is most likely based on the story of Diodorus Siculus , rather than what Wikipedia might tell you! Master useful vocabulary like 'hubris'. He keeps the interest of the poem by using constant sounds and images that are clear and concise, by supplying mystery with words that have more than one meaning, and by using a spectrum of words that capture the interpreters attention.
The particular words that Shelley chose to describe a lost, grand and ruined kingdom are all words of powerful connotation. The rhyme scheme of Ozymandias is ababacdcedefef. There is a statue that exists alone among the rocks and sand. Not only that, sonnets are really hard to write. He became famous and created a name for himself from the traveling he did in his lifetime.
Shelley, like his other two comrades, died at a young age, as they lived fast and hard. A way of expressing a huge and enormous idea in a simple way. The description of the statue is a meditation on the fragility of human power and on the effects of time. A difference of opinion is definitely shown in the selection of poems I have read. Why bother, if you can boil it down to something so pithy that you can put it on a postcard and yet capture what it means to be human within those brief lines. Antiquity and ancient objects were a cultural fascination for the English. Smith's poem was published in a few weeks after Shelley's sonnet.
Try my Guide to 100% in English Language for only £3:99! In fact, Shelley could just have described the statue itself without any mention of a traveller or a poet. The statue's repute in Western Europe preceded its actual arrival in Britain, and , who at the time of the two poems was imprisoned on although the impact of his own rise and fall was still fresh , had previously made an unsuccessful attempt to acquire it for France. It is different from the traditional scheme. Round the decay Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away. Not only does it make a powerful and profound statement about humanity, but it does so in 14 lines. He abandoned his family to be with her; they married after his first wife committed suicide, and Mary changed her surname to Shelley.
However, the lifeless statue Ozymandias is referred to as a real person. A Shelley sonnet, not some weird hybrid Shakespeare-Petrarch sonnet. He uses three narrators to tell the events of the poem. Here we have a speaker learning from a traveler about a giant, ruined statue that lay broken and eroded in the desert. Shelley has used the mixture of an octet and Shakespearian rhyme scheme.
For more close analysis of Romantic poetry, check out our and. Internationale Forschungen zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft. The poem is a frame story. Shelley does this by commanding the use of irony, imagery, symbolism and using a unique structure. Some are afraid, some don't care. If they were easy enough to transport, they were often brought back to Western Europe or sold to museum collections or private individuals. Arabian Nights is told in this way, as is The Odyssey and The Canterbury Tales.
Did the traveller stop him in the street just to tell this story? He is ordering those who see him to look upon all that he has created, but do not appreciate what he has done. He was very respected by all five of his younger siblings and even by the maids that worked for his family. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down. Although the time that the poem was written undoubtedly had some bearing on the choice of subject matter. Nothing more except the empty desert. It has fallen, much like the statue, and has turned to dust.