Ozymandias (Poem Review)

Essay by tanman13High School, 11th gradeA-, April 2004

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"Ozymandias" is a sonnet poem, written by Percy Bysshe Shelly. In this poem Shelly uses brilliant terminology, to let the reader imagine a vivid picture of the story narrated. The story starts right away as alliteration of the "s" word is used to present a calm, soothing, still mood, "I met a traveler from an antique land, Who said: 'Two vast and trunkless legs of stone, Stand in the desert." The first picture that Shelly presents is the shattered stone statue, with only the head and legs remaining, while the face lies conceited. "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." This tells the reader that the man was ruthless and he ruled the people around like they were his own slaves. He commanded people for he hoped it lead to forever immortality.

That didn't happen considering the open dessert surrounded the statue. At the same time the sculptor didn't like him either, he was mocking the king, when he put a cold sneer on the face of the king. On the pedestal of the statue, these words appeared, "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Although the king seemed to think his statue would remain under his property, he didn't realize that after thousands of years the only thing lying would be a rotting and decaying sculpture. Shelly becomes sarcastic as she writes, "Nothing beside remains," after writing, "Look on my works," at this point the reader truly realizes that no one lives forever nor their property. Towards the ending of the poem, we the reader obviously and easily seem to find out the moral of this...