What is the meter and rhythm of this poem ?

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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"Ozymandius" is written in iambic pentameter, which means that there are ten syllables in each line of the poem in five pairs of two, with the first syllable in each pair unstressed and the second syllable stressed.

I met/ a trav/-eller from/ a dis/-tant land/

The first eight lines are the traveller's description of what was seen in the desert, recognizing the artistic skill that had sculpted the "frown and wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command" with great skill. The final six lines point out the irony of the great power and majesty claimed by the figure that had been portrayed, now a "colossal wreck, boundless and bare."

The rhyme scheme is the trickier element in the analysis of the poem's structure. Shelley uses a very complicated interconnection of the rhyming words at the end of the lines to emphasize the discontinuity and irony contained within the poem's story. The rhyme pattern can be described as being "abab acdc ece fef".


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