Comparison of Poems the Magpies and Ozymandias

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In the two poems, The Magpies by Denis Glover and Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley a common theme is that of man’s immortality. In The Magpies this theme is made especially apparent through the comparison of the immortality of Elizabeth and Tom with nature’s ability to remain constant due to its continuous regeneration. Meanwhile, in Ozymandias a king has a statue built however just like him the statue does not survive and is actually left abandoned and forgotten in the desert. This theme of immortality is also shown through a range of techniques such as the structure, choice of language, imagery, movement and sounds. Likewise, this theme is illustrated through the distinctive tone of the author in each poem. The poem The Magpies has a very set structure of six four-line stanzas. In each of these stanzas the last two lines describe the sounds of the magpies, while the first two lines are about Tom and Elizabeth. The second line of each stanza also rhymes with the last line of each; “The magpies said”. For instance in the first stanza the second line is, “The bracken made their bed”. This rhyming of the lines about Tom and Elizabeth with “the magpies said” links the two together and creates the idea of the magpies watching everything Tom and Elizabeth do. Likewise the structure of the last two lines being about the magpies enhances the idea that the magpies are constant and despite the time that has passed, “the pines grew overhead” the magpies are still there while Tom and Elizabeth’s lives come to an end, “Elizabeth is dead now” The poem Ozymandias is also written in the format of an iambic pentameter and has an irregular rhyming pattern throughout. The rhyming pattern helps to link the poem together and create a sense of flow and almost lyrical rhythm. For example the first line, “an antique land,” rhymes with the third line, “on the sand”. The poem is also not broken into stanzas like The Magpies and is instead presented as a sonnet made up of an octet and...
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