Ozymandias
Ozymandias
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ozymandias Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

Sonnet in Pentameter"Ozymandias" takes the form of a sonnet in iambic pentameter. A sonnet is a fourteen-line poem, whose ideal form is often attributed to the great Italian poet Petrarch. The Petr...

Speaker

There are several different voices in this poem that put some distance between us and Ozymandias. First there is the speaker of the poem, you know the guy who meets the traveler from an "antique la...

Setting

This poem has several settings. It begins with a strange encounter between the speaker and a traveler from an "antique land" (1). We have no idea where this rendezvous takes place, which is very we...

Sound Check

"Ozymandias" sounds a lot like the conclusion of a Shakespearean tragedy; the final lines of the poem are especially reminiscent of something you might hear as the curtain is about to fall at the e...

What's Up with the Title?

"Ozymandias" is an ancient Greek name for Ramses II of Egypt. It is actually a Greek version of the Egyptian phrase "User-maat-Re," one of Ramses's Egyptian names. Why not just call the poem "User-...

Calling Card

Long, Complicated SentencesShelley loved to write really long sentences, and this poem is no exception. The second complete sentence, which begins in line 3, is a good example. The sentence has a l...

Tough-O-Meter

(2) Sea Level "Ozymandias" is a relatively straightforward poem; there aren't many strange words, except for "mock'd." At times the syntax can be a little tricky; for example, the first eight lines...

Brain Snacks

Napoleon tried to steal the statue that inspired "Ozymandias" and left a hole in its right side. (Source)Shelley was part of a larger group of friends that frequently engaged in sonnet-writing cont...

Sex Rating

GThis poem doesn't really have much to do with sex.

Shout Outs

Literature, Philosophy, and Mythology Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library Book 1, Chapter 4 (Lines 10-11)Historical ReferencesOzymandias, a.k.a. Ramses II of Egypt (Lines 10-11)

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