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The consequences of time and nature on power and art in Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias”. The poem “Ozymandias”, written by Percy Bysshe Shelley, is a sonnet of fourteen lines, metered in iambic pentameter, which explores many issues and possible interpretations. It talks about the disappearance of powerful civilisations and leaders. Everything and everyone dies someday, except good art, could be a one-sentence summary of the poem. It explores the way that nature can create or destroy with the same strength, or the fact that time always wins. It is impossible to do something against this fatality. “Ozymandias” is an ancient Greek name for Ramses II from Egypt. Ramses II was known for his big constructions like the temple of Abu Simbel. This construction survived it creator, just like the statue in the poem survived the sculptor. This means that every political system, like the pharaohs in Egypt, does not last forever. At one point, another leader will take the power and change the regime. But some vestiges remain from this ancient time, generally through different kinds of art, like sculpture, architecture or paintworks. One of the main themes of that poem is that everything is short-lived. The fact that the statue of Ozymandia is a “colossal wreck” (13), “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone” (2), clearly says that things do not last forever. But it does not only shows a statue that goes throw time and nature with some damages, but also the power, the ambitions and the pride that are transmitted through it, “those passions read/ Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things” (6-7). Through this; the poem also intimates that kingdoms or all political regimes will not last forever even if they build big statues or other form of art to show their power. The statue has not always been alone standing in the desert. There must have been something else nearby, something that has disappeared because now “the lone and level sands stretch far away.” (14). There...
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