What is the significance of the inscription found on the base of the pedestal in Shelley's "Ozymandias?" also describe them.

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I would suggest that the inscription in "Ozymandias" represents the poem's thematic core, upon which everything else in it rests. Ultimately, the inscription in question reads, "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; / Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!" This inscription, taken by itself, contains within it a striking and powerful sense of grandeur. It is telling, in terms of providing an impression of Ozymandias, both as an imposing ruler and personality. But for all of that, consider the scene in which this inscription is found, where the traveler is describing ruins in the desert. This is the tension that rests at the heart of the poem; the ruler's proclamation must be weighed against the reality, in which he and all of his achievements have been conquered by time. This, then, is the thematic message the poem ultimately expresses; it is about the transitory nature of the human condition, and how all things will eventually be swept away with time.

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Shelley's sonnet 'Ozymandias' is an example of what is called the "ubi sunt" (Latin: "where are they") theme in literature, that deals with the fallen heroes of the past.

The greatness of Ozymandias is belied by the fact that the statue is fallen and partly destroyed. This suggests "sic transit gloria mundi" (so pass the glories of the world) -- that even the power of the greatest kings (as those of Mesopotamia or Egypt) is transitory.

Another theme is that Shelley's own poem (as Shakespeare's "Not marble ..) will outlast the works made of mere marble or bronze.

 

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