PERCY BYSSHE SHELLY
This poem features in a 1819 collection. At that time, a large part of a statue depicting the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II was unearthed. Egyptians were highly superstitious and believed that their legacy would continue to exist in the underworld.
The base of the statue (when translated) read: “King of Kings I am, Osymandias. If anyone would know how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass one of my works.”
The poem is about__ a traveller who tells the narrator about the remains of Pharaoh’s statue. He explains that the sculptor did a good job in making an inanimate object, realistic. __The King was a harsh dictator; believing that he was a god and that he would outlast everything and everyone. The irony is, he died and__ the statue lays in disrepair __in a deserted area.
Allegory. This poem has both a moral and political message. The transience of life, is a key concept. Regardless of power, wealth and status, everyone is human. Eventually, all drift away like an insignificant piece of sand.
- Love poem; either admiration or mocking
- ONE STANZA
- Reflecting the statue shape
- We read of what the traveller experienced
- __LOOSE __IAMBIC PENTAMETER
- 10 syllables: five stressed and five unstressed
- IRREGULAR RHYME SCHEME
- Reflecting the broken statue itself
- Sarcasm and irony
- Power of nature
- Power of humans
- Power of art