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Ozymandias Poem by Shelly Literary Analysis

Words: 1237 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 11529015

Thesis: A poem about the ravages of time and the fallibility of human power, Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias” exemplifies the use of irony, imagery, and symbolism.
I. Context
A. Shelley wrote “Ozymandias” during the period known as Romanticism.
B. Context has an important role to play in poetry due to the cultural and historical implications of the symbols and imagery used in “Ozymandias.”
C. The Romantic era hearkened to an idealized past, with special affection for ancient civilizations, which is why Shelley uses imagery of ancient Egypt in “Ozymandias.”
II. Themes
A. Although brief, “Ozymandias” is a complex poem with interlocking and layered themes related to time, power, and identity.
B. One of the main themes of Shelley’s poem is the passage of time, and how people from different eras perceive reality differently.
C. Another main theme of “Ozymandias” is the fallibility and fleeting nature of authoritarian power in…… [Read More]


Glenn, C. & Gray, L. (2019). Harbrace Essentials. Boston: Cengage Learning.

Johnson, G. & Arp, T.R. (2018). Perrine’s Literature. Boston: Cengage.

Shelley, P.B. (1818). Ozymandias. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46565/ozymandias