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Ozymandias

Ozymandias

  

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ozymandias Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Where do you think the encounter between the speaker and the traveler takes place? Is it on the street? Is it in the speaker's head? What does this vagueness contribute to the poem?
  2. In this poem three different people speak (the speaker, the traveler, and Ozymandias). What do you make of this? Does it make the poem seem more like a novel or a play, where different voices are permitted to speak?
  3. There's a lot of alliteration in this poem. There's also plenty of rhyming. What do you make of all this repetition? Does it suggest some kind of cyclical, history-repeats-itself, idea?
  4. What do you think Ozymandias would say if he could see what has happened to his crumbling statue? Would he be humbled or would he find some other way to boast?
  5. Are there political leaders today that you consider to be similar to Ozymandias, or is he a different case because he had absolute power? Which leaders would you want to read this poem?
  6. Have you ever had a strange encounter with somebody from another country? Did it involve a tale about a destroyed statue or something similarly bizarre?

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