Ozymandias.ppt by Nikhil Aneja


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"Ozymandias"is a sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelley, published in 1818 in the 11 January issue of The Examiner in London. It is frequently anthologised and is probably Shelley's most famous short poem. It was written in competition with his friend Horace Smith.

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Ozymandias.ppt by Nikhil Aneja

  1. 1.  Born: 4 August 1792 Field Place, Horsham, England Died: 8 July 1822 (aged 29) Viareggio, Grand Duchy of Tuscany Occupation: Poet, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist
  2. 2.  Written on December 1817 published in 1818 in the January 11 issue of The Examiner In London frequently anthologised and probably Shelleys most famous short poem written in competition with his friend HoraceSmith, who wrote another sonnetentitled “Ozymandias”
  3. 3.  The title of the poem informs the reader that the subject is the 13th- century B.C. Egyptian King Ramses II, whom the Greeks called “Ozymandias.” The speaker in the poem states that he met a traveler who had been to “an antique land.”-Egypt The traveler told him that he had seen a vast but ruined statue that lay broken and eroded in the desert ,where only the legs remained standing .The face was sunk in the sand, frowning and sneering.
  4. 4.  The traveler describes The great work of the sculptor, who was able to capture the king’s “passions” and give meaningful expression to the stone, an otherwise “lifeless thing.” The “mocking hand” in line 8 is that of the sculptor, who had the artistic ability to “mock” (that is, both imitate and deride) the passions of the king. The “heart” is first of all the king’s, which “fed” the sculptor’s passions, and in turn the sculptor’s, sympathetically recapturing the king’s passions in the stone.
  5. 5.  The final five lines mock the inscription hammered into the pedestal of the statue. The original inscription read “Iam Ozymandias, King of Kings; if anyone wishes to know what I am and where I lie, let him surpass me in some of my exploits.” The idea was that he was too powerful for even the common king to relate to him; even a mighty king should despair at matching his power. That principle may well remain valid, but it is under cut by the plain fact that even an empire is a human creation that will one day pass away.
  6. 6.  The statue and surrounding desert constitute a metaphor for invented power in the face of natural power. By Shelley’s time, nothing remains but a shattered bust, eroded “visage,” and “trunkless legs” surrounded with “nothing” but “level sands” that “stretch far away.” Shelley thus points out human mortality and the fate of artificial things.
  7. 7. • Vast- Big.• Boundless- Infinite or vast.• Trunkless- You only have legs and you have no body.• Visage- The face, usally with reference to shape, features, expression, etc.• Colosal- Extraordinarily great in size, extent, or degree; gigantic; huge.
  8. 8. • Despair- Loss of hope; hopelessness.• Mocked- To mimic, as in sport or derision.• Pedestal- An architectural support of a column, statue, vase, or the like.• Sculptor- A person who practices the art of sculpter.• Sneer- To speak or write in a manner expressive of derision or scorn.• Remains- To be reserved or in store.• Decay- To rot.• Passions- A powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger.
  9. 9. • Antique- Ancient.• Command- To issue an order or orders.• Shattered- To cause to break or burst suddenly into pieces, as with violent blow.• Mighty- Of great size; huge: a mighty oak.
  10. 10. The speaker describes a meeting with someone who has traveled to a place where ancient civilizations once existed. We know from the title that he’s talking about Egypt. The traveler told the speaker a story about an old, fragmented statue in the middle of the desert. The statue is broken apart, but you can still make out the face of a person. The face looks stern and powerful, like a ruler. The sculptor did a good job at expressing the ruler’s personality. The ruler was a wicked guy, but he took care of his people. On the pedestal near the face, the traveler reads an inscription in which the ruler Ozymandias tells anyone who might happen to pass by, basically, “Look around and see how awesome I am!” But there is no other evidence of his awesomeness in the vicinity of his giant, broken statue. There is just a lot of sand, as far as the eye can see. The traveler ends his story.
  11. 11. • Inevitability of the declines of leader and empire.• Human mortality and fate of artificial.