Percy Bysshe Shelley’s sonnet “Ozymandias” first appeared in the Examiner of London on 11 January 1818. The sonnet is about a crumbling statue of Ramses II. In this poem, Shelley shows the human element in a story that involves pride and loss.
Percy Bysshe Shelley’s 1818 sonnet about a crumbling statue of an Egyptian king
“Ozymandias,” a sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shellee about a crumbling statue of an Egyptian King, makes an important statement about decay. As the author focuses on decay as the ultimate fate of authoritarian rule, he also obliquely warns us of decay in our own society.
“Ozymandias” is a Romantic poem that explores the transience of political power. The statue, whose two legs are still standing but its head is half buried in the sand, is a metaphor for a lost world and the passing of time. In the poem, the inscription on the statue says that the statue is a king, and he is “king of kings.” But this inscription only hints at the transience of human power.
The sonnet’s title translates from an inscription on a crumbling statue of an Egyptian pharaoh, “king of the gods”. Shelley’s original text includes a traveler’s report of reading the inscription.
Ramesses II was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt, and is often called “Ramesses the Great.” Many historians consider him to be the most powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom, the most prosperous and powerful period in Ancient Egypt.
In 1818, Shelley and fellow poet Horace Smith challenged themselves to create a poem with the same subject and form as “Ozymandias.” Both poets chose the Egyptian king Ramesses II, also known as Ozymandias.
Ramesses defeated a group of Sea Peoples off the coast of the Nile Delta. These people were known as the Sherdan and were allies of the Hittites. After luring Sherdan warships into the mouth of the Nile, Ramesses launched a full-scale attack on them, sinking their warships. Survivors of the Sherdan were pressed into the army of Ramesses, and some became his bodyguards.
Ozymandias was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who ruled during an era of prosperity. It is unclear if he was a better king than his contemporaries, but he was clearly proud of his achievements. His pride, however, has come to connote the power-hungry villains of myth.
The statue of Ozymandias represents the kings and kingdoms of the past. This statue once inspired respect and fear from people. In addition, it was considered to be a symbol of the passing of time. However, the statue now lies unused and has lost much of its glory.
Despite his arrogance, he believed he was better than his contemporaries. The monument that he erected reflected his inflated ego and pride. While there is no evidence that he was a god, his self-esteem is extremely high. He also believed that his greatness would live forever in the minds of others.
The traveler’s tale of ozymandias
The traveler’s tale of Ozymandias is a well-known Greek myth. The story is told in the first person and the primary speaker is anonymous and genderless. He or she recounts the story of the traveller, and the reader will find little information about the traveller. Instead, the reader is left to interpret the story for themselves.
The traveler’s tale of Ozymandias has two settings. First, we are taken to the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, located 420 miles south of Cairo. The city was home to pharaoh statues and an expansive cemetery. The monuments were carved by artisans and laborers.
The traveler’s tale of Ozymandias is written in sonnet form, and is composed of fourteen lines. It is unusual for sonnets of this period because the poem is written in a different rhyme scheme than most sonnets. In addition, the poem uses reversed first feet and an unusual iambic pentameter pattern.