Ozymandias: Man Is Momentary

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Man is Momentary

English 102: Literature and Composition
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Turabian
Thesis
The poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley depicts the mediocrity of man, futility of his works, and his finite existence. He uses a decaying statue of Ozymandias the “King of Kings” as a symbol of man’s overwhelming pride and self-centered nature. Outline

Type:
14 line Sonnet
Narrative
Ironic
Form
ABABA CDCEDEFEF
Iambic Pentameter
Date
1817 (written and possible setting)
Setting
Random encounter with “a traveler from an antique land” •Statue
Ozymandias “King of Kings” (Significant) about a man who is now forgotten •Location (Literal Setting)
“in the desert”
“half sunk”
Description
“shattered visage”
“wrinkled lips”
“sneer of cold command”
Meaning (Symbolism)
Broken and forgotten just like all things made by man •History has forgotten all he did only remembers the location of the ruin •Mood
Ironic
Once great statue is now just “two vast trunk less legs of stone” •“colossal wreck”
Ozymandias was supposed to be remembered forever, not likely •Literary Devices Used
Repetition
Figures of Speech
None
Narrator
Unknown
Themes
Man’s hubris nature
History judges all
Warning to Great Britain

Man is Momentary
The poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley depicts the mediocrity of man, futility of his works, and his finite existence. He uses a decaying statue of Ozymandias the “King of Kings” as a symbol of man’s overwhelming pride and self-centered nature. In the poem the unknown narrator has an encounter with a travel “from an antique land” who tells him of a crumbling statue. This traveler describes the statue which is of the long dead tyrannical Egyptian Pharaoh Ozymandias who claimed to be “King of Kings”. This boast is countered by the “shatter visage” of the statue, the artisans once magnificent work,...
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