Ozymandias PDF File - The Axholme Academy

Anthology Poetry Unit 2
Lesson 2
Ozymandias- Shelley
Learning Outcomes
You will be able to explain what the poem is about
You will be able to comment on the themes and ideas in the poem
You will show your understanding of the context of the poem.
You will analyse the language and structure of the poem
You will discuss your personal response to the poem.
• Who was Ozymandias?
• In antiquity, Ozymandias (Ὀσυμανδύας) was a Greek
name for the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II. Shelley
began writing his poem in 1817, soon after the
announcement of the British Museum's acquisition of a
large fragment of a statue of Ramesses II from the
thirteenth century BC, leading some scholars to believe
that Shelley was inspired by this. The 7.25-ton
fragment of the statue's head and torso had been
removed in 1816 from the mortuary temple of
Ramesses at Thebes by Italian adventurer Giovanni
Battista Belzoni. It was expected to arrive in London in
1818, but did not arrive until 1821.
• Who was Percy Shelley? What do we already know about
the Romantic Poets?
• Percy Bysshe Shelley (i/ˈpɜːrsi ˈbɪʃ ˈʃɛli/;[2] 4 August 1792 – 8
July 1822) was one of the major English Romantic poets,
and is regarded by some as among the finest lyric, as well
as epic, poets in the English language. A radical in his
poetry as well as in his political and social views, Shelley did
not see fame during his lifetime, but recognition for his
poetry grew steadily following his death. Shelley was a key
member of a close circle of visionary poets and writers that
included Lord Byron, Leigh Hunt, Thomas Love Peacock,
and his own second wife, Mary Shelley, the author of
What is the poem about?
• Listen to the reading of the poem and discuss what you
think the story of the poem is.
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krbX-9ugbI4
Use the following prompts to help you:
1. There are three voices in this poem. Whose are they,
and what contribution does each make?
2. What do you find out about the statue that the
traveller tells of?
3. What impressions do you get of the setting of this
What questions do you still have?
What are the themes and ideas in this
• What does the poet want us to think about
when we read this poem?
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRWbo2x
Watch the short film and discuss
Did we miss anything?
Add to your notes
It is likely that Shelley told the tale of the fall of this once-great king to
make a general statement about politics in his day. He was not a
supporter of the royal family. No matter how great a king might be, he
isn't immortal - neither he nor his works will last forever.
• Even the mightiest will fall: Ozymandias thought his works would
last forever and would be above everyone else's. Not true. Nothing
is left intact and his own statue is in ruins.
• You can't beat time. Even a king dies and so will all the things he
has built.
• Pride comes before a fall. Ozymandias' boasts about his own
greatness seem very hollow now.
• The power of art and words. The only thing that does last is part of
the statue and the powerful words on the inscription.
Drill down
What impressions do you get of the
ruler represented by the statue?
What do you make of the inscription
written on the pedestal of the statue?
Can it have more than one meaning?
Shelley uses the words ‘The hand’ to
represent the sculptor. This is an
example of synecdoche. What might
be the effect of saying ‘the hand’
rather than ‘the sculptor’?
What impressions do you get of the
Synecdoche is a figure of speech in which a
term for a part of something refers to the
whole of something or vice versa.
• Ozymandias is a sonnet (a
poem of 14 lines), although
it doesn't have the same,
simple rhyme scheme or
punctuation that most
sonnets have. Some lines
are split by full stops and
the rhyme is irregular at
1. Why do you think Shelley
used this form?
How do these 2 short films link to the themes
and ideas in the poem ‘Ozymandias’?
What qualities of Romantic poetry are to be
found in Ozymandias?