When he refers to "ye Mighty," he is alluding to all of the other mighty monarchs of his day. They should be discouraged since Ozymandias is superior to them, and when Ozymandias' wins, achievements, and efforts are compared to theirs, they fall short. (d) Bring the irony in the poem to light. (e) Show how the poem compares with other poems about death. (f) Analyze the language used by Ozymandias to express his feelings.
Ozymandias was a king who lived in Egypt around 1900 B.C. The name Ozymandias means "my name is Zeus." King Ozymandias was so proud of this name that he had a statue made of solid gold of himself standing up with his arm raised in the air. But later on, when he was dead, it was found out that this name wasn't even real; it just came from one of Homer's poems. So now people know that he wasn't really a god but just a king who died very badly.
In the poem, Ozymandias addresses those who hear his voice after he has been destroyed as if they were gods: "Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" (1). He is saying that even though he no longer exists, it doesn't matter because his actions will always remain true history. Everything he did will be seen by future generations, so they should not be afraid of dying because everyone dies.
These comments created the impression that he was so powerful that no other monarch could ever match him. But in fact he was only a mortal king who had achieved only limited success in politics or warfare. His reputation has survived long after his death due to the poem which describes his fate accurately.
Ozymandias refers to himself as the king of kings since he conquered other rulers and considers himself to be the most powerful. The statement demonstrates his pride in his accomplishments, strength, and authority. It also implies that he is a god because only a god can be king of kings.
"Ozymandias" has a sarcastic solemnity to it. The juxtaposition of Ozymandias' exaggerated idea of his power and grandeur as monarch of a huge country and what remains of it today: a shattered statue scattered over an empty desert, creates irony. This poem is very much about how nothing is eternal, even great men fail.
Sarcasm is the use of words or phrases in a way that expresses contempt or ridicule. It can be expressed explicitly by using certain words or phrases with specific meanings (e.g., "sardonic smile," "naive optimism"), or implicitly by using such devices as sarcasm tags, double meanings, and wordplay. Sarcasm can be used to expose and criticize social evils, as well as to make light entertainment of difficult topics or situations.
Sarcastic statements are usually not taken at face value but rather intended to provoke a reaction. For example, when someone says something arrogant or boastful, we know that it is merely a rhetorical device used to attract attention or express an opinion. Similarly, Ozymandias' statement that he is "king of kings and lord of lords" is meant to be ironic since he knows that no one else agrees with him.
Ozymandias is being sarcastic when he tells of how his memory will live on.
Ozymandias refers to himself as "king of kings," a term borrowed from the Biblical language that smells of arrogance. It might indicate that his ensuing obscurity was a punishment from God, a theme explored in numerous of Shelley's other works. However, it could also be interpreted as a boastful claim to power since ancient Egypt had a royal tradition of its own.
Some have suggested that Shelley was inspired by the poem "The Fall of Hyperion" by John Keats for its resemblance to Ozymandias' description of himself. Both poets were associated with the English Romantic movement and both died at an early age (Keats being only 37).
However, there are significant differences between the two poems: while Keats was writing about the fall of a star, Shelley was describing the fall of a king. Further, unlike Ozymandias who remained faithful to his wife even after her death, Keats was young when he wrote about the fall of Hyperion; however, he was already married when he did so.
In conclusion, "Ozymandias" suggests that the power of a monarch can never exceed that of God.
The phrases on the pedestal suggest that Ozymandias was a magnificent ruler who thought his reign was significant in human history. "My name is Ozymandias, monarch of kings: Look on my handiwork, ye Mighty, and despair!" it said. Ozymandias believed that the huge sculptures erected in his honor would stand forever. But what he forgot is that mountains can be eroded over time even if you aren't dead.
Ozymandias's final words are a warning to others who might try to copy his example. (Similar words of wisdom can be found in many a proverb.) He hoped that his memory would be preserved in history so that future generations would know how arrogantly mankind can destroy their own world.
Modern scientists have proven that Ozymandias was right about extinction theories being proven true by science. Scientists today believe that Ozymandias was only able to preserve parts of his body because he died before the completion of his work. The rest was destroyed by time and nature.
In conclusion, Ozymandias was correct in thinking that his name would be remembered after he was gone due to the fact that millions of years later his remains would be discovered by archaeologists.