Snaith/Ozymandias 15 marks



Poem 15 mark question: power – Ozymandias

Ozymandias is a poem that explores the passage of time and how in the end, power always falls to its knees.  However, another interpretation could be that a truly great ruler will be eternal as their mark upon the world is unparalleled in its longevity. Furthermore, as Shelley was part of the “romantic” movement, the idea of Nature outlasting humanity is also prevalent in Ozymandias. In the poem, the reader is first exposed to the narrator recounting his experience with a nomad, who tells him of the “shattered visage” of a once great leader that lies abandoned in the desert

In Ozymandias, Shelley uses this medium to portray the fact that tyranny is only temporary and that true power lies within art as it is not unusual for art to outlast the artist, as well as the fact that one man will never be destined to rule as a God incarnate. Hence why it is ironic that Ozymandias proclaimed himself “the king of kings” as the kingdom that he once ruled with an iron fist has faded into nothing.

Ozymandias holds an overall cynical view in terms of politics and power.


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