Ozymandias Questions and Answers
by Percy Bysshe Shelley

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What is Shelley's purpose in writing "Ozymandias"?

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The purpose of a poem is to express a theme or create a mood.  In Shelley's "Ozymandias," the theme becomes clear with the last lines:

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: 

Look on my works, ye Mighty an despair!"

Nothing beside remains.  Round the deay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Ozymandias is probably a reference to the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II, who built impressive statues, pyramids, and kingdoms.  His proud boast, which is written on the ruins of a statue of him, is a vain and an empty one because nothing remains of...

(The entire section contains 297 words.)

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