Ozymandias

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Irony is the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning Comic irony: irony that is humorous (whereas much irony is not) Dramatic irony: When the audience (or reader) knows a fictional character is making a mistake, because the audience has more information than the character. Dramatic irony is used when an incident occurs whose significance the audience understands but the characters do not. Tragic irony: In tragic irony, a character's actions lead to consequences that are both tragic, and contrary to the character's desire and intentions.

Historical irony: A kind of situational irony that takes a long period of years for the irony to become evident.

The speaker recalls having met a traveller “from an antique land,” who told him a story about the ruins of a statue in the desert of his native country. Two vast legs of stone stand without a body, and near them a massive, crumbling stone head lies “half sunk” in the sand. The traveller told the speaker that the frown and “sneer of cold command” on the statue’s face indicate that the sculptor understood well the emotions (or "passions") of the statue’s subject. The memory of those emotions survives "stamped" on the lifeless statue, even though both the sculptor and his subject are both now dead. The whole area around the wrecked statue was covered with flat sand.The once-great king’s proud boast has been ironically disproved; Ozymandias’s works have crumbled and disappeared, his civilization is gone, all has been turned to dust by the impersonal, indiscriminate, destructive power of history. The poem remains primarily an ironic and compelling critique of Ozymandias and other rulers like him, but it is also a striking meditation on time-bound humanity. In this poem Shelley attempts to highlight the true value of language and poetry. Ozymandias makes the point that language has an immortality which other art forms do not. It is for this reason that Shelley also asserted 'all high...
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