Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelly

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by TrevorG145
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Language Arts
Subject:
Literature
Grade:
9

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Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelly

"Ozymandias"I met a traveller from an antique landWho said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stoneStand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Line 5Tell that its sculptor well those passions readWhich 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: Line 10Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'Nothing beside remains. Round the decayOf that colossal wreck, boundless and bareThe lone and level sands stretch far away.-Percy ShellyAnnotationTitle:“Ozymandias”Paraphrase:In the poem we are a man. He meets a stranger from a far away place who tells him stories of the things he has seen. Then the view shifts to a desert where the traveler is describing a ruin he saw. On it is an inscription about a king named Ozymandias, who in the stone writings described himself king above all kings. But there is nothing remaining of this kings empire, save for dust and ruin.Speaker:The man who is talking to the traveler, you can tell this because at the beginning of the poem it says, “I met a traveler from an antique land”. This means you are not the traveler, but rather someone talking to him.Figurative Language:Line 2, 3, 4, 5 - Imagery - The poem is vividly describing the desert where the statue is located. (Enhances poem by creating a more visual poem)Line 4 & 5 - Personification - The traveler personifies the shattered visage on the desert sand. “...sneer of cold command…” (Enhances poem by creating a more sensual/visual poem)Line 8 - Hyperbole - It’s an obvious exaggeration in the line, “The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed”, because a heart cannot feed and a hand cannot mock. (Enhances poem by creating a more relatable poem)Line 12 & 14 - Rhyme - “...round the decay… stretch far away”. (Enhances poem by creating a more fluid poem)Line 3 - Personification - “...two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert…”. Standing is a human/animal property, stone cannot literally stand. (Enhances poem by creating a more visual poem)Attitude:Meditative, Reflective, CalmShifts:Line 2 - The poem goes from being told from the perspective of the speaker to the perspective of the travelerLine 10 - The poem goes from being told simply in descriptions and imagery to having an actual connection to the past, this is because the ruins have an inscription which is not up for debate, while the rest of the inferences about the place are.Title: The title “Ozymandias” is talking about a fallen king. He once had an empire great enough to build giant statues, but now, nothing remains. The title is referring to how in the long span of time that we live in, we can only exist for so long before we too are destroyed by the decaying world. The title is referencing destruction and ruin.Theme: The theme of “Ozymandias” is that nothing lasts forever. Even the great Ozymandias, with all his power and all his force, could not stand the test of time. He was a great king who could erect gigantic monuments but he could not stop his ultimate destruction. And once he is destroyed, nearly all memory of him is lost.

OzymandiasBy: Trevor GoldsmithPeriod 2

Percy Bysshe ShellyBorn on August 4th, 1792, in Horsham, England. Percy was born into a rich family with one brother and four sisters. He began to attend Eton College at the age of 8. While studying at Eton he began to write poetry, but did not publish until 1811. His views and ideas were so controversial that one pamphlet, "The Necessity of Atheism", got him expelled from Oxford College. This seperated him from his family, and he struggled monetarily for many years. But he didn't stop his ideas. He published more pamphlets and poems about his views. On such subjects as religion and freedom of the press. Not all these ideas were met with joy, so in 1812 he and his family fled to Tremadoc, a village in Northern Wales. In the following years he wrote much poetry, such as "A Refutation of Deism: in a Dialouge", and married twice to sisters. In 1816, he wrote one of his masterpieces, "Alastor; or The Spirit of Solitude", which speaks of the beauty and search for meaning in life. A very symbolic story, it follows a man in search of himself. Only to find himself alone and lonely. In the following years he wrote more poems and stories, kept up is radical views and ideas, and continued to push in his beliefs of religion and press. Until July of 1822, when Percy Shelly's ship entered a sudden storm, the ship capsized, and he drowned. Ironically, he was buried in a church cemetary, much against his ideology. Percy Shelly is best remembered for his forward-thinking and his poetry, which is still read today.NationalityPercy Shelly was born in England, and was living in England when the poem was written. Some of the influences in this poem can be seen as this poem was written during the same time as many artifacts were being brought back from Egypt. A place where many new discoverys were being made, tombs raided, and temples and cities being discovered. In the poem, Percy describes a statue of one of the ancient Egyptians pharaohs. During his time in England, he would have gone to museums and private collections that contained some of these ancient artifacts, which would cause him to garner inspiration for "Ozymandias".

References(n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/percy-bysshe-shelleyShmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). Ozymandias Poem Text. Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://www.shmoop.com/ozymandias/poem-text.html(n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://www.englishphotographer.com/photos/Morocco-Merzouga-sahara-desert-nomad-ruins_5941t.jpg(n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://wallpaperfast.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Ancient-Ruins-Buddhist-Wallpaper.jpg(n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://www.englishphotographer.com/photos/Morocco-Merzouga-sahara-desert-nomad-ruins_5941t.jpgOzymandias - Smith. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://www.potw.org/archive/potw192.htmlTake My True Love by the Hand - Lyrics - The Limeliters. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://www.limeliters.net/take-my-true-love-by-the-hand---lyrics.html

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I believe that both of these pictures show a similar landscape to that visually described in the poems. Both of the pictures show ruins of stone in a desert. Both make it very difficult to understand what the civilization was like before its destruction. And both pictures have a somber, yet deserted look to them. They fit very well as a visual aid for "Ozymandias".

"Ozymandias"In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throwsThe only shadow that the Desert knows:—"I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone,"The King of Kings; this mighty City shows"The wonders of my hand."— The City's gone,—Nought but the Leg remaining to discloseThe site of this forgotten Babylon.We wonder,—and some Hunter may expressWonder like ours, when thro' the wildernessWhere London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guessWhat powerful but unrecorded raceOnce dwelt in that annihilated place.-Horace SmithThis poem relates to "Ozymandias" because it also speaks of a lost desert civilization. It speaks of the destruction of a society and how little will remain in the future when others see the ruins of civilization. It also features a charactor known as Ozymandias, this is because both Horace Smith and Percy Shelly worked together when writing their individual poems.

Take My True Love By The Hand-The LimelightersI feel that this song has similar themes and messages as the poem. The tone of the poem and its words have a similar sort of emotion as I imagined "Ozymandias" had. The words also were about how a man and his love have to leave town. Which is almost the same as a civilization having to leave their home. This song, although made over 100 years after the poem, is very similar in meaning to Percy Shelly's poem and Horrace Smith's poem.


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