Ozymandias: Discussion Questions with Answers

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Cedar Girls’ Secondary School
Secondary 2 Literature in English
Semester 2: Unseen Poetry

Name: _________________________ ()Class: __________

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.”
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

1) What is the form of the poem? (Hint: How many lines are there?)

It is a sonnet.|

It is told from a third-person omniscient point of view. This is to distance the reader from the poem, and possibly from Ozymandias’ rule.| 2) From what perspective is this poem told? Why do you think this is so? Remember to underline key words or alphabets to help you!

3a) Can you identify any sound device used in the first seven lines?Alliteration and assonance.3b) Do you think that the sound device contributes to the setting of the poem? Yes. The repeated use of the “S” sound simulates the sound of wind blowing across the desert. 3c) Try to identify other sounds in the poem. What effect does this create?The sound of the letters “O” and “A” gives the impression of an echo, like the voice of Ozymandias seems faraway and distant. This makes me feel like Ozymandias is fading away.|

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...
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