What are the main points to remember about the poem "Ozymandias"?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that the transitory nature of existence is one of the critical points from the poem.  The ruler Ozymandias, self described as the "king of kings," is one whose statue is in a decrepit condition, set in a barren land.  The notion here is that during his rule, people might have seen him as a powerful king.  Ozymandias might have even seen himself as one of these rulers.  Yet, the possession of political power does not guarantee political immortality.  Rulers cannot be measured by solely their success when they rule, but must be assessed on the grounds of what they have done to ensure that their rule is lasting.  At the same time, this can be broadened to anyone who seeks immortality for its own end.  All artists could be subject to the fate of Ozymandias, seeking immortality in this life, but not accomplishing it after their time has passed.

epollock | Student

One of the main ideas in the poem Ozymandias is that he is depicted as sneering, contemptuous, mocking, and commanding. His statue has decayed with time. To contrast the present state of the statue with the words inscribed on it; no one looks at the statue now. The poem ironically suggests the absurdity of man’s pride in his achievements, monuments. His great works are turned to rubble and seen by no one. One interesting point about that poem is that Ozymandias was apparently correct in his view that people should be in awe of his long lost power, because if he will be eventually forgotten, what does that say about the average person in the twenty-first century? What hope do we have that we will leave anything behind or a lasting legacy?

ntibane | Student

There is an old, shattered statue of King Faro. The poet met a traveller who has been to see that statue - poet write what he was told by the traveller that he met. The end of thios poem is rich in irony. Ozymandias was a cruel person. He use to brag a lot!