28th September 2017


Percy Shelley’s “Ozymandias”

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.

The author here uses personification to put emphasis on an inanimate object with the idea of hubris to show that this statue carries the personality of a being that once was Ozymandias. “…whose frown and wrinkled lip, and snare of cold command” Here he is using human characteristics to represent this personality as being of a cocky, ambitious nature. The way I know that this is a statue is that the author puts hints that it is a statue through the use of past-tense words “an antique land” or shows signs of age with “trunkless legs of stone”

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