Ozymandias and the Grecian Urn Paper

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Even though “Ozymandias” by Percy Shelley and “Ode to a Grecian Urn” by John Keats sound like very different types of poems, they still share some of the same characteristics. In “Ozymandias,” Shelley tells a story of how a man found a ancient statue of a king, with the words “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,/ Look on my Works, ye Might, and despair!” The statue was broken into pieces, and the land was bare, with nothing to “look on” (11). In “Ode to a Grecian Urn,” Keats is speaking to an ancient urn and describing the unchanging pictures that are on it. These poems are very different in how their objects interact with the passing of time and in the feelings that they invoke in the reader, but very similar in the romantic characteristics that they represent. “Ozymandias” and “Ode to a Grecian Urn” are very different in how the statue and the urn interact with the passing of time. In “Ozymandias”, Shelley shows how a manmade object is destroyed in time by nature. Not only is the statue destroyed, but it is also obvious that the town has also been destroyed when Shelley states that, “Nothing beside remains. Round the decay/ Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare” (12-13). Nature has the ability to destroy everything that a man can make, anything from a simple statue to an entire town. However, “Ode to a Grecian Urn” is an entire poem about a manmade object that has withstood the passage of time and anything nature threw its way. Keats states that even “When old age shall this generation waste/ Thou shalt remain” (46-47). Keats does not even acknowledge the fact that nature could destroy the urn in a split second. Since the urn is a “Sylvan historian,” it has been around for a while, meaning it has probably been through some version of a natural disaster or at the very least a rough storm, and nature still has not chosen to destroy it (3). Shelley’s poem and Keats’s poem also differ in the feelings that they invoke in the reader. “Ozymandias” has a very...
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