Ozymandias Analysis

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Percy Shelley describes the speaker

being told by a traveler about an

archaic and weathered statue of King

Ozymandias that sits by its lonesome in

the middle of a desert. The story is told

about the once glorious and fearful

statue that is now diminished down to a

pile of rubble that is now concealed

from civilization in the sand from which

it was created from. King Ozymandias

tried to preserve his power and glory by

creating an abiding statue of himself,

but now it is just a pile of rubble that

few people know about and have little

concern about. It represents that after

death everyone is the same, only objects

to remember our glory is left behind.

Also it represents the history of

mankind by saying that no matter how

vast our civilization grows, we will

inevitably all die and be forgotten

about. There is no denying the fact that

everything will fall at one point in time

and the remnants of mankind’s greatest

empires will be overlooked and

forgotten about.

The only thing that is left

behind from all great men and

civilizations is not the people

themselves, but just the objects they

created or had created for them just so

the future peoples can remember their

greatest accomplishments. Shelley says

in his poem, “a shattered visage lies”

which describes the only thing left of

Ozymandias, a disintegrating statue that

lies in the desert surrounded by

emptiness. It is not only the statue that

is shattered, but yet the reputation and

glory of the Ozymandias and his

empire. The great king would be beyond

outraged and disappointed if he could

see how his only lasting impression on

the new world is holding up.

In a criticising essay by Jennifer

Bussey, she states that “Ozyamandias’s

legacy is actually not in his hands at all,

but solely in the hands of the sculptor”

which proclaims that everyone’s legacy

and reputation is held in the hands of

the ones viewing that certain someone,

not that person’s own opinion. The

quote "A man is only as good as his

tools” is very relatable due to the

broadness and the truth that every man

is only as good as the people and objects

that help mold his legacy far beyond his

life. One may think that they are the

greatest ever, but they are thought upon

as just a commoner or average joe in

every other person’s eyes that

surrounds that person. A good example

of this is how someone were to look at

themself in a mirror and think that they

are the best looking person out there,

but to everyone else they are just

typical person. Everyone thinks more

highly of themself as opposed to every

person of judgement, this is why it is

best to solely depend on yourself to

leave the legacy that is desired. Relying

on others is a gamble due to their

capabilities of creating an object in

honor and if that person messes up or

does a poor job, it makes the person of

interest look bad. This is why it is best to

do things without other people’s

creation and to leave the legacy of

choice. If Ozymandias had chosen to

create his own statue or some other

piece of impression, his fame would be

known throughout the world instead of

putting it into the hands of someone

else, resulting in a decaying piece of

stone in the endless sands of a barren

desert with only a few holding his

accomplishments. Everyone’s legacy

and lasting impression should be in

control by their hands of doing, not

someone else’s.

There is no denying the fact that not

everyone will be remembered for the

actions in their life, this is why we do

not know about every man, woman and

child that has ever lived and that every

person should put high matters such as

their glory in their hands and not

someone else’s. That is what is cultured

in the short poem of “Ozymandias.”...
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