Ozymandias Analysis

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U3_FT1.3: ‘Ozymandias!’
‘Ozymandias’ is a poem written by famed romantic era poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. As a poet, Shelley’s works were never truly recognized during his lifetime due to the extreme discomfort the generation had with his political radicalism, or his revolutionary ideology. It was only after his death that his works were further examined for the masterpieces they are and the way Shelley thought about revolutionary movements was finally revealed. The Romantic Era in England was a reaction to the stuffy, undemocratic, narrow-minded Enlightenment Era of the 1700s. Towards the end of the 1700s, people began to question the belief that their century was a ‘perfect era’ (as those intellectuals of the time called it) and the Romantic Era grew out of this backlash. Pioneers of the Romantic period, like Shelley, wanted to break away from the conventions of the Age of Enlightenment and make way for individuality and experimentation, an imperative ideology of the Romantic Era. Shelley magnified the importance and beauty of nature and love. This was mainly because of the industrial revolution, which had shifted life from the peaceful, serene countryside towards the chaotic cities, transforming man's natural order. Nature was not only appreciated for its visual beauty, but also revered for its ability to help the urban man find his true identity. While the poetry of the time is typified by lyrical ballads reflecting nature and beauty, revolutionary ideas are an underlying theme. Ozymandias is an ode published by Shelley in 1818 and is considered Shelley’s most famous short poem, as well as the most anthologized. The form of the poem happens to be a sonnet, however the rhyming system is very complicated and therefore creates an intricate and unique read compared to most other sonnets rhymed I the traditional fashion. His beautiful imagery puts an image of a decayed or otherwise collapsed statue in the mind of the reader. “Vast and trunkless legs” depicts huge...
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