Ozymandias Poem Explanation
CLASS: 11th CLASS (1ST YEAR, FSC PART 1, HSSC-1, ICS)
SUBJECT: ENGLISH BOOK III (PTBB)
POEM NAME: “OZYMANDIAS Poem Explantion”
 Percy Bysshe Shelley.

THEME

A traveler finds a statue of a king standing in a desert. The face of the king shows his cruel nature. His head is sunk in the sand. The king’s message says that kingship and royal life all end up. “Nothing beside remains.” The king wants to tell the mighty men that power and potential all perish. Character lasts forever. Therefore, man should not be proud of his position and potential. Kingly comforts come to an end soon. Character outlives man.”Pride hath a fall.”

 

 

STANZA NO. 1
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 read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:

Reference:

These lines have been taken from the poem “Ozymandias” written by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Context:

A traveller tells the poet of the pitiable and wreck condition of  a king’s statue lying in a desert.

Ozymandias Poem Explanation:

The Poet says that he came across a tourist. He had come from an ancient land. He told the poet that he had seen two vast legs standing in a desert. They are like trunkless branches of a tree. Nearby half buried face also lay. It was broken, it was frowning. This man’s face showed that he was harsh. His stiff lips showed that he was arrogant. His sneer was also evident. It showed that he mocked at others. He appeared to be a relentless commander. These feelings depicted in a sculpture show that its maker was a perfect artist. He engraved feelings on a stone. He was the man who mocked at the arrogance of the king as he knew that “Pride hath a fall.”

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q: Who is it that determines time for different things done under the sun?

Ans: Man undertakes a task at a time, he fails. He tries to do it at another time, he succeeds. There is a divine hand, the invisible intelligence behind our deeds that assigns an end to our activity. God is the real Doer and the King of all that happens here. If man only ere all in all, he would never fail anywhere.

Q: What personality of the king appears in your mind?

Ans: The face of the king showed frowns. Thus, he was angry with others. The sneer on his face showed that he made fun of others. His stiff lip indicated his harshness. His wrinkles showed his impassivity even in his old age.

Q: How do you appreciate the art of the sculptor?

Ans: The sculptor has shown the perfection of his art. He has created a living man by chiseling and engraving a stone. Feelings are easy to reflect in sketches but difficult to express on a stone. We must appreciate the sculptor who has expressed the fury and the attitude of the king on a stone.

Q: What does the poet want to convey to the reader?

Ans: The poet wants to say that man’s inner reflects in his appearance. As says Huxley, all our deeds and thoughts are visible on our faces. Face is the index of one’s personality. The poet advises us to avoid evil as it does not die with the evil doer, it outlives him.

STANZA NO. 2
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.”

 

Ozymandias Poem Explanation:

The king’s statue stands on a pedestal. It is written on the pedestal that Ozymandias is the king’s name. He asks the powerful people to see the wonderful deeds of his life. They will become the hopeless to see the king of kings in pitiable condition. Therefore, the poet says that the worldly possessions do not last long. The king is, a ruin top to toe. And all around this huge symbol of destruction, there is vast sand only.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q: What message does the king give to the powerful people?

Ans: The king invites the attention of the people who are powerful. He tells that power has failed to save him from ruin. Time has finally pulled him down from the throne. He wants to tell that the mighty should learn a lesson that worldly power cannot avert ruin.

Q: What does the poet mean by colossal wreck?

Ans: The poet calls the statue of the king a colossal wreck. It means that the king has become a symbol of ruin. Time has not only ruined him but made him a symbol of ruin for others to learn a lesson.

 

THANKS FOR READING! Ozymandias Poem Explanation

Poem: Times



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