Please paraphrase this: And on the pedestal these words appear: 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'  

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Percy Bysshe Shelley`s sonnet Ozymandias is written in a genre sometimes known as ‘ubi sunt` (Latin for: `where are they?’) that has a thematic focus on the transitory nature of worldly glories (another frequently used Latin phrase is ‘sic transit gloria mundi’ or ‘so pass the glories of the world’). The narrator is describing a large statue. The statue was originally placed an a large base, with the words 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:/Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!' inscribed on the base. In these lines, imagine that the statue is talking to the observer, pointing out that Ozymandias is so powerful and has caused such amazing works (like the statue) to be built that the observer, no matter how important or wealthy, should despair of rebelling against Ozymandias, emulating him, or equalling him. Of course, the statue is partially destroyed, located in a remote area, and Ozymandias forgotten, making the perspective of the poem`s reader far different from that of the imagined observer.