Analyze romantic characteristics in the poem Ozymandias

QuestionsAnalyze romantic characteristics in the poem Ozymandias
Cynthia Darlington asked 7 years ago

Analyze Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley in relation to the characteristics of the romantic period.

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1 Answers
Staff answered 7 years ago

The main characteristics of the Romanticism were to glorify common life and to disregard the royalty, government and upper class, to glorify the beauty and power of Nature and to disregard human authority and earthly possessions.
In the poem ‘Ozymandias’, P. B. Shelley has presented the ruined statue of Ozymandias, an Egyptian pharaoh who sought to glorify himself as immortal through his works and statues. But the poem depicts how that false human glory was ruined by the destructive power of Nature. The poem rather glorifies the sculptor, a commoner in comparison to the ruler. Poet says that the sculptor’s feeling is still alive in the face of the statue whereas the ruler has not survived the rule of nature.

And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things

Again, the description of the ruins of the statue brings a kind of nostalgia, feeling for the past and also a kind of mystery in the lone vast desert. All these are characteristics of romanticism.

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, …
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

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