“Ozymandias” is a Romantic Poem

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Ozymandias puts off a strong “all-mighty” aura. He claims to be the king of kings, the ruler of the land. This poem called Ozymandias, written by Percy Bysshe Shelley, has some pretty interesting qualities to it. Ozymandias seems to be someone very powerful, and most people either follow his ways or die. The two other narrator point of views seem to fear Ozymandias, with the power he claims to have. Ozymandias seems to also have people who fear him, the poem introducing three narrators.

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Ozymandias gets introduced as the third narrator, and the poem obviously displays his highness. He seems to be a cold king who sneers and scowls. “My name is Ozymandias, King of King; Looks on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!” This is a sentence used from the poem, though he is royalty or not, he certainly believes so. This quote helps the reader understand his belief in the power he has, who he believes he rules all. He may believe the people who are below him shall worship him, and listen to his commands. He may be a cruel king who teaches fear to discipline. It suggests why the other narrator may fear his visage, and why they are afraid of him. The way the poem describes the visage with a sneer and a cold command gives the reader a good image of how this statue of the king may look. He may be standing on his balcony, giving a speech to all the men who follow him. “…And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command.” The way the narrator describes the visage may make the reader feel bad that this king teaches fear. The reader gets the idea that he is not a good leader, and that he is a dictator. Ozymandias seems to be a strong person, who is far too over confident and believes he has much more power than what he actually has.

Throughout the story, there are three different narrators who speak. The first narrator is unknown, but they say they met a traveller who said something. After that, the second narrator comes in. The second narrator describes Ozymandias’s visage, and describes the cold look the visage has. The third narrator is Ozymandias himself, speaking with power and authority. “I met a traveller from an antique land.” This quote is what the first narrator had said, not giving much information. “Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command.” The second narrator spoke this, giving the reader a good picture. “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;” is what Ozymandias had said when he introduced himself. He claims to have the highest title, being the King of the Kings. All three of the narrators seem to have their own personality, though we don’t get much from the first narrator. The second and third narrator definitely stand out. When the second narrator comes in, they use colder and harsher words. The visage obviously did not make the people smile. Then when Ozymandias comes in, he seems to live up to the second narrator’s words, showing a harsh personality and Ozymandias is cold with his words. “…whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,” “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.” In the poem, Ozymandias says “nothing besides remains” and “round the decay”. There certainly has been war, Ozymandias says his words without care, showing that he may not care for the deceased who had died in the war. It could have been either his own, or the enemy, but he does not show much empathy to the people who had lost to him. Ozymandias could be celebrating his victory by becoming king, and being known as the one who had led the people through the war. Ozymandias could also be the enemy, and he has taken over the kingdom, and he is now their new king who has conquered all the other kings.

The three narrators and the strong words used in the poem gives the poem an interesting feelings. The way the author transitioned between the narrators may be a bit confusing, but it still adds nice texture and effect.

Ozymandias was certainly someone who impacted lives back in his time. Whether it was good or bad, he became the “King of Kings” and he had his face put onto a statue. 

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"Ozymandias" Is A Romantic Poem. (2021, Jul 28). Retrieved December 3, 2022 , from

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