Thursday, October 2, 2008
This poem by Percy Shelly seems to comment on the fleeting nature of even the pinnacle of human achievements; their oh so temporal existence. The name Ozymandias is a westernization of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II. He was responsible for the building of some the most massive monuments in human history. This poem seems to comment on the arrogance of trying to overcome the greatest force in existence: the test of time. The great "King of Kings" believed his achievements could be remembered forever in stone. However, even stone succumbed to the ravages of time; stone feet standing in ruins in the present. The greatest irony is created when the epitaph on his crumbled statue is read. The mighty works of Ozymandias are themselves in despair, rather than those they are meant to inspire that awe in.