Home 1st Year English Notes Ozymandias Poem Explanation of Lines Notes

Ozymandias Poem Explanation of Lines Notes


This post contains 1st Year English Ozymandias Poem Explanation of Lines with reference to the context. This poem has been written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The poet has explained the reality of human life very beautifully. I have taken these 11th English Poem 8 Explanation notes from Kips Notes. Students can visit this link for all poems notes. However, 1st year English book 1 notes have been placed at this link.

1st Year English Poem 8 Ozymandias Explanation with Reference to the Context


These lines have been taken from the poem, “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.


Shelly points to the bitter reality of time. An individual does pass away, and with him, all signs of his existence and superiority disappear. There remains nothing behind but sand which stands for wastefulness and total destruction.


The poet says that he came across a person who seemed to come from some distant, old country. He told the poet that while crossing a desert he had seen two huge and gigantic legs of a statue without body, standing in the desert. These legs were made of stone and near them lay a much-damaged face of these bodiless legs. It was half-buried in the sand.

There was a scowl on his forehead, an expression of anger. One of his lips was marked with wrinkles. An expression of contempt that showed indifference on his face. An ironical expression of some cruel command was still on the face. Though the face had been damaged by the effect of time, all the expressions were still visible and clear on it. It seemed that its sculptor had observed and felt the inner sentiment well and then had engraved on a lifeless thing. He had carved all the sentiments masterly and beautifully.

The traveler tells the poet that on the basis of the statue some words were inscribed. It was actually a message that he was Ozymandias, the ruler of the rulers. His message to the people was that the powerful should assess his achievements.

The huge and enormous statue had decayed and wasted away. The vast region of sand was extending all around it. If such a gigantic sculpture made of stone can perish and abolish, then weak and frail structure cannot claim immorality. Man’s life is very brief. If we are aware of this bitter reality, we should not be proud of our attainments and ourselves.

Critical Appreciation

The poet has used a lot of sibilants or hissing sounds in these lines. These sounds serve as a contrast to the grand and proud words of king Ozymandias. The poet emphasizes the idea that time makes everything silent.

Main Idea of Ozymandias Poem

It is an ironical poem which describes the pride of man and miserable reality of his life. Man becomes proud of his worldly success and thinks that he has conquered the world. He forgets that time brings happiness as well as sorrow and death in a great leveller. All feelings of superiority in man are only an illusion.

Relevant Notes

  1. 1st Year English Notes
  2. 1st Year All Subjects Notes
  3. Ozymandias Poem MCQs
  4. Ozymandias Poem Short Questions
Load More In 1st Year English Notes

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