What is the intention of the poet here? What do the colossal wreck and sands symbolize?

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Shelley's intention is to show that political power is never permanent and that even the greatest, most powerful ruler will not survive forever; thus Shelley seeks to satirize politicians, or dominant rulers, and call the reader's attention to the passing of political power. The poem has a weighty theme, so Shelley has used the formal sonnet form. 

The "colossal wreck" is literally the giant remains of...

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