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Transcript of Ozymandias
The statue of Ozymandias is a single metaphor for power and legacy, both political and otherwise. The desert sands whittles away at the statue, representing the destructive power of the sands of time on power and rule.
The statue slowly becomes personified, a job owed to the creator of the statue rather than the statue itself, but through adding human traits to an inanimate object, the reader is both able to imagine the rule of Ozymandias and understand the power of art and its ability to withstand time.
Petrarchan/Italian Sonnet (mixed with English Sonnet)
10 syllables per line
Lines 1-8 = Conflict
Lines 9-14 = Resolution
Any wavelike recurrence of motion or sound.
The personae of this poem is obscure
A random person who hears from a random traveler about a statue he/she once saw.
The poem is largely about the power of time to erase legacy
The obscurity of the personae is meant to provide further distance between the rule of Ozymandias and today.
Personae & Effects
By: Alena Pauley, Mary Danielson, and Cailin Winters
Diction & Syntax
Someone is hearing a story from a traveler who once saw the statue of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II. The traveler describes the statue and then continues on to detail the state of destruction the statue is in today and the irony of the phrase carved into the statue.
These lines develop the conflict in the poem. During these 1st lines, Shelley creates the image of Ozymandias in the mind of the reader starting from the feet of the statue and ending with a Pharaoh complete with people of his own. By the end of lines 1-8, the reader can see Ozymandias in his prime.
These lines makes up the resolution of the poem. It's meant to destroy the image of Ozymandias built up in the first 8 lines. It shows that time destroys everything but art. Only the poem written by Shelley and the statue remain of Ozymandias, even though he was a Pharaoh. This is similar to Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 (Shall I compare thee to a summer's day...)
Accented syllables in the line of the poem
Caesuras, pauses in the text that are either grammatical or rhetorical.
The caesuras in lines 2-11 emphasize the creation of the Pharaoh Ozymandias
Meant to build suspense and add magic, but also reality, to the reign of Ozymandias. So, when the reader sees the destruction of the statue the effect is greater.
The caesuras in lines 12-14 are in contrast to the meaning of those in lines 2-11.
Instead of adding to the image of Ancient Egypt and Ozymandias, these caesuras develop a sense of isolation and detachment from society. These pauses, once again, accentuate the deterioration time has on history.
Iambic Pentameter (dominantly)
This is a fairly straightforward meter, with five feet per line with unstressed syllables followed by stressed syllables. HOWEVER. Shelley frequently diverges from this meter and shifts into Trochaic Pentameter, where the first syllable is stressed. Shelley diverges into Trochaic in lines 3,6,7,11,12,13, and 14.
Example: Line 12
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Lines 3, 5, and 6 draw attention to the fact that only the statue remains of Ozymandias. This is meant to show, again, that art outlives all things.
Lines 11-14 are meant to accentuate the fact that all of Ozymandias's kingdom has been destroyed which supports our theme that time destroys basically everything but art (including the legacy of Ozymandias).
Enjambment is when lines run without punctuation on to the next line
The points of enjambment are: Lines 1,2,5,6,12 and 13
There is a lack of enjambment when there are descriptions in the poem (ex. line 3 and 4)
The enjambment takes away the pauses in the poem, building tension as the reader reads quicker and heightens the contrast of the caesuras
Concrete: "stone" "desert" "half-sunk" "shattered visage" "wrinkled lip"
The concrete diction help provide the reader with a sense of the Ozymandias ancient Egypt knew: the tough-willed man who ruled with an iron fist. It also provides imagery of the statue being described throughout the poem.
Abstract: "passions" "lifeless" "mighty" "boundless"
The abstract diction is mostly in the second part of the poem. That dictates to the reader the deeper meaning of the poem, rather than the seemingly literal story of a man hearing about a statue in Egypt.
The rhyme scheme for this poem is much different than the traditional Petrarchan form which follows the rhyme pattern, ABBAABBACDCDCD and different still from the Shakespearean sonnet which follows the rhyme pattern ABABCDCDEFEFGG.
The rhyme scheme of Shelley's poem is ABABACDCEDEFEF.
The purpose of this rhyme scheme is to parallel the passing of time. As time progresses in the story the poem tells, the poem progresses. And, as the poem progresses the old rhymes are slowly replaced with new ones (much like how Ozymandias is replaced by new leaders as time passes)
The rhyme also parallels the decay of Ozymandias and his empire by slowly becoming less and less organized, essentially crumbling.
Line 5: "cold command"
Line 13: "boundless and bare"
Line 14: "lone and level"
The first alliteration is meant to create a sense of tyranny about Ozymandias and almost to foreshadow his downfall. It draws attention to the fact that the statue is the only remaining thing in the desolate land adding to the point that only art can withstand the test of time.
Time can have the power to destroy both political power and legacy
Art is usually the only thing that withstands the test of time.
Real power often lies with the artists and the creators rather than the rulers and leaders.
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 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!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away
Ramesses II statue
(aka the Ozymandias statue)
Line 2 "said", "stone"
Line 3 "stand", "sand"
Line 4 "sunk", "shattered"
Line 5 "sneer"
Line 6 "sculptor"
Line 7 "survive, stamped"
Line 14 "sands stretch"
Sibilance only appears in relation to the desolate desert, or the lack of kingdoms, and the emptiness of the area. The lines specific to Ozymandias and his inscription are void of these.
The whole of the poem is more or less threatening and ominous, and this is shown in a few different ways.
Extended metaphor - (Political power falls/fails)
Sibilance - (slithering/slinking in the lines about desolation)
The structure of the sonnet itself - (lone e verse in the cdcd pattern, once again crumbling)
Narrator - (distancing away from the narrator and from the king)