In Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley, to which ideas or beliefs that you may hold, is it appealing? Is the appeal explicit or implicit? Please keep answers short.

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley reveals the futile attempt of this "king of kings" in establishing his ultimate power. His belief in his own immortality has been "shattered" and despite his implicit inference that he is greater than the greatest as he calls on other great rulers to  "Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair," the traveler recognizes the irony in the words on the plaque as Ozymandias - by virtue of his statue- is nothing more than a "colossal wreck." 

Therefore, Ozymandias appeals to our moral sense and our sense of the dangers of over-confidence. It is implicit because it does not directly warn the reader to beware of self- importance but it is clearly understood. The "trunkless legs of stone," themselves explicit in their description, leave no doubt of the traveler's sentiments and show a lack of respect towards the statue-remains as the traveler almost mocks them; again implicitly implying that respect is earned and the statue is "lifeless" and not deserving. The poem leaves the reader with a sense of his own potential for human failings.