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Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelly, Literature Review Example

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Literature Review

Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelly

“I met a traveler from an antique land

Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone”

We can describe the rhyme scheme of this poem as follows “ababa cdcedefef.”

Some of the words that describe the rhyme in the poem include, “antique”, “desert”, “visage”, “well those passions read”, “survive”, “the heart fled”, “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair”, “Nothing beside remains”, “lone and level sands stretch far away”.

This poem is in iambic pentameter in the sense that each line contains five pairs of syllables. The first syllable in each pair in not stressed. Stress lies on the second syllable of each pair. The main theme of this poem is the total and inevitable resistance by all the leaders, with the empires they build, regardless of the power they held during their respective times. We see the statue, which was a symbol of might, power, and glory of the kings crumbling. Despite this, the sneer on the “shattered visage” in the poem remained intact as a symbol of the sculptor’s capability to tell and capture the likes and desires of his king.

We therefore, can see a case where it is the sculptor, who holds an extremely low rank among the servants of the king, who delivers the message. We see the pride of the king coming out in his statement, “look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.” The writer also brings out the theme, “Nothing lasts” using imagery, voice variations of speakers and by indicating the contrast between this fact and the concept that some things need time to prove that they are worth. The story in the poem was purely hearsay to the speaker. The speaker in this case is anxious to share his story. “I met a traveler from antique land.” This triggers the whole discussion of the statue. Despite the fact that the persona did not see the actual destruction of the statue, he remembers all details of the occurrences.

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Literature Review

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