Homework Help

Could I have an explanation of "Ozymandias" line by line? To whom does the...

user profile pic

dajaja | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 29, 2008 at 2:24 AM via web

dislike -1 like

Could I have an explanation of "Ozymandias" line by line? To whom does the word "them" in line 8 refer?

3 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 30, 2008 at 1:55 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 4 like

1.  He meets a traveller from a distant land  2.  who tells him he saw two pillars of stone  3.  in the desert, and next to them,  4.  sunk in the sand, was a shattered stone face, whose frown, 5.  wrinkled lips and sneering, commanding expression  6.  indicate the sculptor interpreted the model's (King Rameses II) expressions well  7.  because the expression still stands in the stone  8. sculpted by a man who mocked those passions, showing Rameses,whose heart fed on his own glory. 9.  On the statue these words appear: 10-11. "  My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,/ Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”  12.  Nothing remains around the statue, it is decaying, 13.  it is a wreck, bare and stripped 14.  and only the sands around it stretch into the distance.

"Them" refers to the vain passion of the Rameses, the self-glory possessed by him.  Shelley seems to be indicating that such a good portrayal was the scupltor's way of mocking the vanity of the man.

user profile pic

ntibane | Student | Honors

Posted August 14, 2010 at 12:34 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

The "them" refers to the passions that Ozymandias was capable of. His cruelty and coldness. Remember that this was a very proud man at the same time.

user profile pic

ntibane | Student | Honors

Posted August 16, 2010 at 1:24 AM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

The Passions

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes