About the PoetAbout the Poet
Born:Born: August 4, 1792August 4, 1792
Famous as:Famous as: Romantic and lyric poetRomantic and lyric poet
Place of birth:Place of birth: Horsham, EnglandHorsham, England
DeathDeath: July 8, 1822July 8, 1822
Famous works:Famous works: OzymandiasOzymandias, , Ode to the WestOde to the West
WindWind, , Music, When Soft Voices Die,Music, When Soft Voices Die, TheThe
CloudCloud and and The Masque of Anarchy.The Masque of Anarchy.
Shelley began writing his poem in 1817,Shelley began writing his poem in 1817,
soon after the announcement of thesoon after the announcement of the
British museum's acquisitionBritish museum's acquisition
of a large fragment of a statue ofof a large fragment of a statue of
Shelley wrote the poem inShelley wrote the poem in
friendly competition with hisfriendly competition with his
friend and fellow poet Horacefriend and fellow poet Horace
Smith, who also wrote a sonnetSmith, who also wrote a sonnet
on the same topic. Shelley andon the same topic. Shelley and
Smith's sonnets were publishedSmith's sonnets were published
in the same magazine onin the same magazine on
January 11, 1818.January 11, 1818.
PB Shelley belonged to the creed of
Romantics. William Blake, George Gordon,
Lord Byron, John Keats, Samuel Taylor
Coleridge and William Wordsworth were
some other Romantics.
Ramses IIRamses II
Ramses II also known as Ramses theRamses II also known as Ramses the
Great, was the third pharaoh of theGreat, was the third pharaoh of the
19th dynasty of Egypt. He is often19th dynasty of Egypt. He is often
regarded as the greatest, mostregarded as the greatest, most
celebrated and most powerfulcelebrated and most powerful
pharaoh of the Egyptian empire. Hepharaoh of the Egyptian empire. He
is also known as Ozymandias in theis also known as Ozymandias in the
Greek sources, from aGreek sources, from a
transliteration into Greek of a parttransliteration into Greek of a part
of Ramses' throne name,of Ramses' throne name,
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,
Synopsis: The poem opens with the speaker
narrating his chance meeting and conversation
with a traveller from an ancient land. He told the
speaker that there was a huge, old statue in t5he
middle of the desert. The statue was in a very poor
condition. It was without the upper body. He said
that only two legs of stone were standing in the
desert and the face of the statue was lying away
from it, half sunk in the sand.
a)Where was the traveler coming
b)What had happened to the statue?
c)What does the word ‘visage’
Ans-a) The traveller was coming fromThe traveller was coming from
an ancient land.an ancient land.
Ans-b) The time had claimed the statue.The time had claimed the statue.
It lay in ruins.It lay in ruins.
Ans-c) The word visage means face.The word visage means face.
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well
those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
Synopsis- Further, the traveller tells the speaker that the
sculptor of this statue knew all the qualities of the king
deeply. He had done quite a good job at expressing the
ruler’s personality. Actually, the sculptor seems to have
mocked Ozymandias. The twitched lip of the face brings out
the pride and sneer of Ozymandias. The king was power
drunk, cruel and inhuman with a dictorial attitude. The
traveller says that the king had died but his facial
expression-one of vanity and self importance-still survived
on the sculpted face.
a) What do ‘lifeless things’ refer to?
b) How do we know that he was a good sculptor?
c) How did the heart feed the passions?
Ans-a)Ans-a) The expression ‘lifeless things’ refer to theThe expression ‘lifeless things’ refer to the
scattered fragments of the broken statue ofscattered fragments of the broken statue of
Ozymandias, especially the shattered face.Ozymandias, especially the shattered face.
Ans-b)Ans-b) The sculptor was good as he had even managedThe sculptor was good as he had even managed
to curve the king’s expression in the fine details onto curve the king’s expression in the fine details on
the state’s face.the state’s face.
Ans-c)Ans-c) The passion which were depicted on theThe passion which were depicted on the
statue’s face were those of vanity and selfstatue’s face were those of vanity and self
importance. These were the emotions born andimportance. These were the emotions born and
bred in the king’s heart.bred in the king’s heart.
And on the pedestal these words appear:”My name is
Ozymandias, king of kings: look upon my works, ye
mighty, and despair!”
Synopsis- The traveller also informs the
speaker that the pedestal was engraved with an
inspection, which read, ' My name is Ozymandias
, king of kings’. These words show the pride
and haughtiness of the king. The king boasted
that his achievements and his exploits were
incomparable in the world. The king was proud
of them and felt that all shall despair in the
face of his works.
a) What do the lines on the the
pedestal suggest above
b) Bring out the irony of the poem.
c) Give the synonym of the word
Ans- a)Ans- a) The lines on the pedestal suggest thatThe lines on the pedestal suggest that
Ozymandias was an arrogant king.Ozymandias was an arrogant king.
Ans- b) The irony of the poem is that time hasAns- b) The irony of the poem is that time has
claimed the great statue and the kingdom ofclaimed the great statue and the kingdom of
Ozymandias. Everything lies in ruins.Ozymandias. Everything lies in ruins.
Ans- c) The synonym is ‘submit.Ans- c) The synonym is ‘submit.
Nothing beside remains. Rounded the decay Of That
colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands atretch far away.
Synopsis- Ironicallyenough, now, noneofOzymandias’ workscanbeseenin
thevicinity ofthestatue. Duetoweatheringovertime, nothingelseisleftbehindof
Short Answer type Question:
1. Bring out the irony in the poem Ozymandias ?
Ans : The statue that was toAns : The statue that was to
perpetuate Ozymandiasperpetuate Ozymandias
memory , his glory and grandeur liesmemory , his glory and grandeur lies
broken into piecesbroken into pieces
on the sand in the dessert. Nothingon the sand in the dessert. Nothing
remained except the boundlessremained except the boundless
and bare sand.and bare sand.
2. What does the partially destroyed
tstatue of Ozymandias symbolise ?
Ans : All worldly power ,grandeur , glory and
pride are short lived.
3. What is the present condition
of statue of Ozymandias ?
Ans :There are two trunkless
vast legs of stone . There lay
a half sunk human face beside
them. All around the huge statue
there lay in sand.
Long answer Type Question :
1. Explain above lines with reference to the
ravages of time in “Ozymandias” ?
Ans: Human Glory and greatness are short lived .
Kings built statues and monuments to
immortalize their name and fame .But time
creates havoc. With the passage of time glory
disappears .Ozymandias statue is reduced to
ruins .Words engraved on it reflects his power
but arrogance , human pride and power are
Ozymandias is a powerful sonnet about theOzymandias is a powerful sonnet about the
transitory nature of life and itstransitory nature of life and its
pretensions of fame and fortune.pretensions of fame and fortune.
Shelley chose, however, to poke holes in theShelley chose, however, to poke holes in the
“great man” theory of history, questioning“great man” theory of history, questioning
its validity and its rationality.its validity and its rationality.