I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said -- "two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert ... near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lips, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my Works ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."
Poets try to use a concentrated blend of sound and imagery to create an emotional response and to try to get us, the reader, to sense a particular thing. In this poem “Ozymandias” by Shelley Percy Bysshe, there are different types of sound devices.
The poet uses alliteration multiple times throughout the poem. “Cold command” and “boundless and bare” are examples of alliteration because the beginning letter of each word is the same. Alliteration helps the poet to make their meaning clear because repeating the same constant is used to emphasize a point and it can give additional amusing effects to the reader.
Shelley also uses rhyming in this poem; a rhyming scheme of ‘ababa cdcedefef’. Using rhyme gives a poem a repetitive quality by sound without repeating words, phrases or entire lines. It is important when poets do this because it allows the reader to feel like they are connected to the poem and it also lets a poem to gain a songlike feature.
“An antique land” is an example of assonance that Shelley uses in his poem. This type of sound device gives a sense of stability and helps the poem flow better and more clearly. The way an author uses assonance can change the mood of the poem. Long vowel sounds will decrease the energy at that point in the poem and make the mood more serious and higher vowel sounds will increase the energy and lighten the mood.
Furthermore, Shelley uses consonance in this poem, where two words end in the same constant or have the same sound. For example, “cold and command” or “trunkless and legs” both have the same last letter and make the same sound.
Overall, sound devices such as assonance, alliteration, rhyming, repetition and meter, contribute to the overall message of the poem because it stresses certain ideas or points in a poem. They are used to make the tone of the poem move faster or slower, depending on how the poet wants it. If a poet can manage to include as many devices as possible in their poems, the more successful they are in engaging their reader in the poem. Poems are usually most successful when you can make the reader feel as if they are truly there in the writing. Shelley's poetry reflects beauty, creativity, nature, passion and imagination because she uses many devices in her poems and gives the reader the impression that he/she is involved in their poem.