Discuss the multiple speakers present in "Ozymandius."

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is fairly interesting because it brings out the different voices in the poem.  The opening of the poem indicates the first speaker.  The first couple of words of, "I met a traveller from an antique land."  This would be one speaker in the poem, presumably Shelley himself.  The second speaker is the traveller.  This voice tells the reader about the statue that was found in the desert.  The description of the statue is one that brings out the idea of a faded glory. The "sunken" nature of the statue and the image of having time taking its toll on this once glorious statue is featured in the second voice.  The next voice is from the statue, itself.  The inscription on the statue speaks out to the traveller, the speaker, and the reader of the poem.  In this voice, one can even hear the voice of Ozymandias, himself, stressing his glory and power.  In each voice, an aspect about what it means to possess power and what it means to be a part of and victim to history is reflected in each voice.