LL1 POETRYL.O: To identify and analysis literary and languagefeatures in Ozymandias by Shelley.
SHELLEY Born into a wealthy family in Sussex, England, Percy Bysshe Shelley was expelled from Oxford for writing The Necessity of Atheism. His radical lifestyle at times detracted from the appreciation of his work. He called poets “the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” In Shelley’s short life — he drowned while sailing at age 29 — he produced gorgeous lyrical poetry quintessential of the Romantic Era.
CONTEXT This poem is based on a story Shelley had read about a funeral temple of the Egyptian pharaoh, Rameses II, whom the Greeks called Ozymandias. According to the story, the temple bore an inscription which read: ‘I am Ozymandias, king of kings; if anyone wishes to know how great I am and the place where kings like me lie, let him surpass any of my works.’
Ramsesses II Ramsesses II during his reign built more temples and monuments, took more wives (8) and had more children (over 100) than any other pharaoh. He wanted to built memorials for himself, which he imagined would last forever.
RAMSESSES II However, he used slave labour to build them and the slaves suffered hardship under his control. Today, many of these memorials and statues have crumbled into the sands of the desert.
THE AREA, WHERE THE STATUES AREBUILT, IS KNOWN AS THE VALLEY OF THEKINGS AND A NUMBER OF EGYPTIANPHARAOHS ARE BURIED THERE.
PercyShelley wrote this sonnet after seeing a huge granite statue of Rameses II at the British museum in 1817.
TWO VAST AND TRUNKLESSLEGS OF STONESTAND IN THE DESERT..
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 lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions readWhich 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.
The poem has been interpreted in anumber of different ways, but allcentre on the irony in Ozymandias‘sdeclaration that the"Mighty should look upon my works, and despair".
LANG LIT ANALYSIS Get into six different groups. Each group need to analyse the features from the poem in the section they have been given. Use the relevant terminology and the cone framework to help you know what to look for in your area.
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