PosterĄG Joyce at 22:49:11 3/9/98 from

Journal on Ozymandias
First of all, I want to say that I do not understand the poem very well. Especially when I read it for the first time. So I don*t know whether you can understand my analysis or not. I just try my best.
I think the theme of the poem is partly about "eternity". The poem is another sonnet. In the first part of the poem, it describes that a traveler saw a statue in the desert which only had its head and legs. The statue has broken. "a shattered visage lies, whose from and wrinkled lip" . Although it is broken, we still can find pride and power come out from its face. For example " and wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command Tell that its sculptor well those passions read". I think the word "command" can also give me a clear idea that the statue is a sculptor of a powerful man. In my opinion, I think only people in a higher position or have authority can give a command that everybody should obey. I think maybe in the course of his life, he is a powerful man in a high status. And after his death, people build this statue to stand for him.
In the following lines, we can see the epitaph on the pedestal. " My name is Ozymandias, king of kings Look on my works , ye mighty, and despair" In these words, again we feel the pride of this man. He was so arrogant that he even thought that he was not only a king but a king of "kings". I think he also thought that his "mighty" work will last forever, even when he died. But actually, his work becomes nothing as we can see in the last three lines. No matter how much authority and mighty he got in his course of life, those will not last for long since he died. The material possession will not be forever exist.
I think the speaker use the words told by the traveler and the story told the King to show us the main idea of the poem. What we own and acquire in our whole life are not immortal. As we can see the King*s words, he thought his work is mighty but at last he was still in despair. The material things will be decayed and broken.
I think the poem still want to tell us that power, authority, property and status etc. are not the most important thing in our life. These will disappear one day in the future. No matter how much you get, they want last. What really count is your spirit, conscious, wisdom and so on. Although these kind of "possession" are invisible, these are the kinds which will last for a long time even when you die. As we can see in the poem, maybe the King was really powerful and arrogant when he was alive. But after his death, no matter how proud his statue looks like, his sculptor had broken and his work became nothing. Maybe when he was alive, he was surrounded by people or possessions etc. But now nothing was around him but a vast and empty desert.
This is my interpretation of this poem. I am not sure if it is right or not. Thank you!!!


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