A traditional sonnet contains fourteen lines and follows one or several set rhyme schemes. However, not every sonnet follows these guidelines. There are two basic types of sonnets which are Italian and Shakespearean. A third type is Spenserian, which combines the two styles and is very rare. The sonnet "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley qualifies as an Italian or Petrarchan sonnet due to the author's traditional use of an octave, to relate an anecdote, and a sestet, to reinforce the point of the poem. His rhyme scheme however, is not the normal Italian style. The traditional rhyme scheme of an Italian sonnet follows the pattern ABBA ABBA CDECDE. However, in "Ozymandias" Shelly preferred to use a mixed arrangement in order to narrate his theme.
A great number of poems utilize imagery to appeal to the reader's senses. Shelly provides a visual image of shattered dreams with the phrase "two vast and trunkless legs."
He affords his readers the ability to relate their own crushed dreams to the mighty King's. The "sneer of cold command," which is envisioned on the statue's broken face produces a feeling of negativity in the reader. Ozymandias obviously based his entire empire on his belief that he was superior to all others. This literary composition also contains noticeable symbolism. The fallen statue symbolizes human frailty and our own mortality.
Shelley also permits the reader to create the mental image of two men seated in a tavern exchanging accounts of their many journeys. The traveler describes viewing the foundation and legs of a mighty statue rising out of the sand. Close by, nearly entombed in sand, lies the face this once proud figure, his encompassing aura of superiority permanently etched within its features. The traveler continues explaining that everything that was once an awesome empire had been...