In "Ozymandias," what is the thematic significance of the poem? What are its universal connections?

Expert Answers
Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The poem deals with the transitory nature of power. The mighty Ozymandias lived and ruled with great power and cold arrogance. His words to future generations reflected his attitude: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: / Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" The "king of kings," however, dies and with the passage of time, his "works" consist of the remains of a shattered statue strewn about on the desert sands. The theme is clear: Powerful rulers and great empires rise, but eventually they fall; they are no match for the ravages of eternity. Considering the history of the world, this is certainly a universal theme.