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

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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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.

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