Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley is from the point of view of the first person narrator. It is about lost or forgotten glory. Shelley’s poem informs the readers that the high and mighty does not live forever and would eventually fade to oblivion. This is a sonnet of 14 lines in iambic pentameter. Its rhythmic pattern of ABABACDCEDEFEF links the octave to the sestet. Rhyme and rhythm not only help to unify the ideas in the poem but they also make the poem sound good and interesting.
The rhymes in the poem like land and sand, in the 1st and 3rd lines, refers to the place where the ruins are found. Stone and frown, in the 2nd and 4th lines, refers to the legs and face of the shattered sculpture. The overall idea or theme of the poem centers on Ozymandias, the King of Kings. A king is identified with power, sculpture with immortality and pedestal with high place. These Metaphors were used in the poem to help the reader understand the theme better. The poetic element of Allegory with the use of other symbols was intended to go deeper into the poem’s literal meaning.
Examples of these symbols are trunkless legs as lifeless, hand that mocked to mean ruled, heart that fed to suggest served, and sands to connote time. Since the poem was narrated from the account of another person, in this case that of the traveler, Imagery was used to give the readers a vivid description of his narration. The literal image is in the lines “frown and wrinkled lip” appeal to one’s sense of reality while the figurative image in “sands stretch away” appeals to one’s imagination.
Another poetic element used was Alliteration to enhance appeal of the poem in such lines as “hand that mocked,” “heart that fed’” “boundless and bare,” and “lone and level. ” The general tone of the poem is one of realization that nothing is permanent in this world. Irony in the poem is on the mighty king of kings, who turns out to be vulnerable and not at all invincible.
Shelley, P. B. (1792-1822). Ozymandias. Retrieved November 11, 2008 from http://www. potw. org/archieve/potw46. html/.