“Even things that are cast in stone, can be one day undone; that things may fall and crumble there; forgotten one by one. It has been said time after time for as long as most anyone can recall, a small saying that says nothing is cast in stone. This poem is just another example that unlike something cast in stone, nature will always conquer over all despite the way that mankind may think.
The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley tells readers the same thing in the poem ‘Ozymandias’ through both exquisite wording and beautiful imagery. The poem is a genius work about strength and the fall of false greatness, told from the eyes of a traveler who encounters an elderly stranger. In the poem the stranger tells him about the fall of a great kingdom that had thought itself unbeatable by even time. The author uses the image of a statue as a symbol for this kingdom. The image of a broken stone man, which has been beaten down by nature and time plays as an example for many things. The reader learned throughout the poem that not only did time and nature beat this great kingdom, but also they themselves did it during their struggle to be great.
The image of two trunkless legs still planted and slowly being covered by the sand is, in a way, exposing how mankind thinks. Men often believe they are unstoppable even by nature and time, often comparing the elements to other men, believing that the best surpasses even their power.
"There is no fear of mistake." That is what Walt Whitman wrote in the last few lines of his preface to Leaves of Grass. He was referring to the idea that nothing can be considered wrong if it is an idea born in the imagination. People in general have this great fear that they might do or say something wrong, especially if it is an un ordinary idea or thought. They way we protect ourselves from ...
In another line the writer refers to the face of the statue, left fallen in the sand, it’s lips curled in a look of cold and cruel command. This is a play on the way that mankind is by nature. Mankind is a race that spends all it’s time rushing about, using commands and war to strive for survival. It is a common belief that he who is strongest will outlive them all. In this poem the writer shows that this is almost always outlived. Weather they are beaten by time, the elements, or themselves, the strongest kingdom will always crumble.
The words written on the statues base are said in a beautiful passionate que, “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” In this passage the writer says that the sculptor of this piece knew all to well, that even the strongest army will fall with time, look and despair that man is not eternal. The sculptor leaves a morbid example to all who would wander upon his works to look around and see what has become of greatness. It is, in a way, telling the reader that greatness is short lived, and that nothing is forever.
The last lines are a beautiful expression of the fallen city, which lie in the sand about the pieces of the broken statue. Crumbled and dead, the sands stretch on still, holding the vast proof that forever is not so long a time in the eyes of the world and that life will continue on even after the walls have crumbled. It is this poem that sets a perfect example that mankind does not give credit to the strength that comes with time and the forces of nature, and will often put so much time into becoming the best and most powerful that they lose sight on life, becoming nothing more than a fallen king. Perhaps the writer hoped to express a greater understanding of the tragedy of greatness, or even express the value of life over the conquest of power.