about the urn and the king


Poster¡G SARITA at 17:17:0 3/12/98 from c550-27.svdcc.fju.edu.tw
Mentioned¡G
Romantic Poetry 
"Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats 
¡íThe Difference between the Metaphors in the first stanza and the names in the last stanza ---- 
In the first stanza, the poet gives a lot of praise and tribute to the urn. First, he referred to the urn as "unravished bride of quietness." The image of an unravished bride implies a sense of beauty and perfection. Secondly, the urn was called "foster-child of silence and slow time." Since it's called a foster-child, the parent must be the artist who created the urn. 
The urn is the product of artistic talent, and it speaks to the poet through its shape and pictures. That's why it's bride of "quietness" and foster-child of "silence and slow time" - it makes connection with the poet in a quiet way. In the first stanza, another metaphor, "Sylvan historian," is also used. The poet must have lots of respect for the urn, because a historian is someone knowledgeable and respectable, but even the historian couldn't express a sweeter tale than the poet's rhyme. This also shows the poet's expectation and curiosity to learn more from the urn itself. Briefly speaking, these metaphors show the poet's admiration and tribute to the Grecian Urn. 
In the last stanza, the names used to describe the urn, such as "Attic shapes," "Fair attitude," create a very different feeling from the metaphors in the first stanza. In the last stanza, the poet no longer praised the urn. Instead, the poet talked about the urn with reservation. He seemed to hold back his empathy. The image of "attic shape" is much more ordinary and plainer than "bride." Besides, the names in the last stanza became inhuman (e.g. "Cold Pastoral"), unlike the lively description, such as "bride," or "foster-child" in the first stanza. 
"Ozymandias" by Shelley 
¡í What does Ozymandias want to achieve as opposed to what is left behind him? 
In this poem, the poet used certain words and images to create a contrast between the Egyptian king's desire for power and his actual powerlessness. 
In the octave, the traveler described the sculpture of Ozymandias. The sculpture is neither grand nor noble; instead, it is half-sunk and the visage is even shattered (line 4). This shows Ozymandias' powerlessness over the changes of time. Perhaps at first, when Ozymandias assigned the artist to make the sculpture, he wanted to express his majesty through the sculpture. However, as time passes, the sculpture was worn out, and it can't even resist the erosion of sands in the desert. These are all things Ozymandias couldn't control, no matter how powerful he was when he was alive. 
Besides, the wrinkled lip and the sneer further showed that Ozymandias couldn't really control the sculptor's creativity. The word "mock" (line 8) is especially ironic because of its double meaning. Indeed, the sculptor might have done his duty, that is, to imitate the king in his artwork, but at the same time, he could ridicule Ozymandias secretly through his artwork, too. 
Finally, in line 10 and 11, we read the words on the pedestal: "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Although these words convey Ozymandias' strong desire for power, it is ironic that no one pays attention to these words. The next 3 lines make a vivid contrast. From the last 3 lines of this poem, we see there's nothing beside Ozymandias' sculpture. The surrounding environment is desolate. Ozymandias is powerless for nobody is listening to what he wants to say. In the vast desert, Ozymandias' sculpture is merely some kind of wreckage, and powerlessness is all Ozymandias left behind him.