PosterĄG Valerie Chen at 13:32:35 3/10/98 from c445-12.svdcc.fju.edu.tw

The poem was an Italian sonnet. In the first
eight lines, the speaker described the prestige
and majestic looking of Ozymandias, a great king.
But then, lines 10 - 11 interrupted the
description and showed afterwards in the last
three lines, the failure of the king by telling us
how bleak and desolate his city had become. There
was no vitality at all but only monotonous sands
around it. Besides, the huge sculpture of
Ozymandias was badly damaged and partly sunk in
sands for the time of the mighty king was over.
Therefore, the poem presented a big contrast
between the first eight lines and the last three
lines. From the description of Ozymandias'
countenance, he seemed to be a serious and proud
king. Or maybe we should think of him as a
heartless, cruel and warlike tyrant, who was
obsessed with great ambitions of ruling the world.
It's said on the pedestal:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
From these words, we could see that Ozymandias had
a very conceited and indomitable character.
However, there was an ironic meaning in the king's
own words. When the mighty king said the word
'despair', he was certainly referring to his
enemies, the ones he wished to conquer. But at
the same time, the word could also be understood
as the despair to the proud king's work that was
exactly what was shown in the last three lines,
the decline of the city.
Even though the sculpture was shattered, the
expression on the stony face was still very clear.
It showed the unbending and steadfast character of
the king that even time could remove from him.
Besides, I think that Ozymandias is still alive in
some of us. No matter what age we are in, there
would always be people who are obsessed with
ambitions and desires of power just like the
'omnipotent' king. Therefore, no matter how
damaged and rotten the sculpture was, the strong
expression of the face would never disappear.
I think art plays a very important role for the
understanding of history. By the time when words
were still not invented, the only ways to tell
history and human's daily life were through oral
language and arts. We see in the poem that the
speaker learned the story of Ozymandias from a
traveler while the latter from a sculpture and a
pedestal he once read in his journey. Thus, in
this way, thanks to art (drawings, sculptures,
songs, poems, etc); all remote and antique stories
were dispersed and made known to the next
generations giving them not only historical
knowledge and evidences but also beautiful
imaginations about the ancient time.

Note: Ray, please do not sent your comments to my mailbox. Thanks.


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