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" Around the huge fragments stretches the empty desert.Analysis Shelley's irregular sonnet on the fragments of a huge statue of an Egyptian pharaoh begins with a statement that arouses the interest of the reader at once: I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. The story is a characteristically Shelleyan one about tyranny and how time makes a mockery of the boastfulness of even the most powerful kings.Even the gigantic statue of himself that he had commissioned has been reduced to two legs, a shattered face, and a pedestal.
The problem of Shelley's sources is discussed in an interesting, illustrated article by Johnstone Parr, "Shelley's 'Ozymandias,'" Keats-Shelley Journal Vol. Removing #book# from your Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title.
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In 1817 Shelley and his friend Horace Smith had a contest to see who could write the best poem about Egypt.
Percy Shelley's "Ozymandias" was a direct result of this contest, and it soon became a popular work in Romantic literature.
The story is over and Shelley's point is made before the reader realizes that he has been subjected to a moral lesson.
The fine beginning is followed by a condensed and vigorous account of what the traveler saw in addition to the two huge legs standing in the desert: a shattered visage, a pedestal, and on it a boastful inscription. Shelley puts the words of the inscription in effectively ironic contrast with the surroundings.All the exercises and Question and Answers given at the back of the lesson P. Shelley was born on 4 August 1792 in West Sussex, England.He was the eldest legitimate son of Sir Timothy Shelley, a Sussex landowner.When analyzed, the poem "Ozymandias" contains many poetical elements and also conveys many different themes that associate with the romantic period. It is about a man who meets a traveler, and this traveler tells him a tale. This king was arrogant, and believed that his great kingdom would last forever.By the time the traveler came across the kingdom, it was destroyed, and fragments of a statue were all that remained.The Romantic Period began in the early nineteenth century; it radically changed the way people perceived themselves and the nature around them.Romanticism allowed people to get away from the constrained, logical views of life, and concentrate instead on the emotional side of life. Their works concentrated around the themes of beauty, nature, political liberty, and imagination. Born in 1792 Shelley led an intriguing, turbulent life.Both poets remove the city of Thebes, the site of the statue, from their poems for artistic purposes.Ozymandias was the name by which Ramses II, a pharaoh famous for the number of architectural structures he caused to be erected, was known to the Greeks.The rulers of the world, "ye Mighty," are told by Ozymandias, "king of kings," to look upon his works and despair of emulating them. Instead of the architectural marvels promised by the inscription, "the lone and level sands stretch far away." Just as the sculptor mocked Ozymandias by putting on the face of the colossal monument a "frown / And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command," so time has also mocked him by reducing his vain boast to nothingness.The works that were to be the despair of other pharaohs have completely disappeared.