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Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Added by: Jody
The Poem:

- sonnet (14 lines), iambic pentameter

- rhyme scheme is ababacdcedefef, it has no traditional sonnet form but does structurally divide INTO 8 and 6 of Petrarchan pattern.

- Theme/ tone: nostalgia for the past

- Idea that things change and nothing will stay in its original glory forever.

- Shift in tone at line 12 when the author begins to down play and talk about the wreckage that Ramses great city is now it. (goes FROM praise to mockery)

- The speaker is also mocking the great Ramses II because he built up this huge kingdom on the backs of workers only to have it now in shambles.

Romantic aspects:

- use of imagination

- exotic settings

- nostalgia for the past

Reason for this piece:

It was written as a friendly and informal poetry competition with John Keats in 1817. The poetry topic was Egypt. At the time fragments FROM the empire of several Egyptian kings named Ramses were put on display in the British Museum in London. Ramses is also the legend Egyptian king who spoke with Moses at the time of the Hebrew’s Exodus FROM Egypt.

Symbolism and Worshipping False Gods
Added by: Sara
Shelley absolutely despised the fact that people woshipped statues and false gods and that's the subject matter of this poem. Also, Ramses thinks he is all high and mighty and when you look around him, his city is in ruins. This poem shows you that things change and they rarely, if ever, stay the same. The narrator of the poem is the Great Ramses, and there is also a hint of irony, because he stills thinks himself and his army could beat you, but yet he is sitting there with his stone face broken off and lying in the sand.
Added by: mike g
Excuse me Sara, but that's Rameses. Small nit, I know, but accuracy is important.

Ozy transcends literal explanation, cloaks itself in irony with more than a "hint". Here are 14 lines that explode in irony.

Ozy, in its seemingly simple telling, addresses all powers that be, reminds them of the temporalness of their impact and influence. This applies today as well as then.

I offer as evidence: S. Hussein, T. Blair, or

Everything passes, even kidney stones. Time doesn't care, nor does the desert.

Added by: Mallory
my english teacher said it was
Added by: Mac
My dear Mallory, tell your teacher to go back to school his/herself. I am an English Major, 4th year University and have done this poem way too many times- get the rhyme scheme down sweety and tell teacher there to get some education.
Added by: Karl Wyborn
Can anyone tell me how you pronounce 'Ozymandias', is it 'ozzy-man-die-us' or 'ozzy-man-dee-as'?
Added by: Jane Moorefield Heumann
It's the latter: ozzy man dee as.
Great poem.
Added by: Nicky
I rather think it's a matter of personal preference.

Someone said that Rameses was the narrator; I'm not a trained literature expert or anything, but I'm not sure how that could be.
Added by: YuJinjin
This poem is full of subtle irony. A single work of art has outlasted Ozymandias' whole empire.
Added by: elsa
a perfect piece of literature.

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