Write a short character sketch on Ozymandias. 

Ozymandias is an arrogant, controlling man who appears to have many hallmarks of a narcissist, including an inflated sense of his own importance, a need to be admired, a sense of superiority, and a lack of empathy, as well as no sense of humor.

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Ozymandias can be described as a ruthless, arrogant tyrant, who is so sure that his works will live on for all eternity, that even the mighty will despair of matching his achievements.

As a pharaoh, a powerful Egyptian king, Ozymandias was clearly a man used to people obeying his every...

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Ozymandias can be described as a ruthless, arrogant tyrant, who is so sure that his works will live on for all eternity, that even the mighty will despair of matching his achievements.

As a pharaoh, a powerful Egyptian king, Ozymandias was clearly a man used to people obeying his every order and command. Over time, this would've made him arrogant and domineering, and one can be certain from reading the pedestal of his once-proud statue that he believed himself to be almost like a god. Certainly, one can well imagine that he exercised god-like power and control over others.

Indeed, the inscription on the statue's pedestal, “King of Kings,” indicates just how highly Ozymandias thought of himself. He wasn't just a king; he was the “King of Kings,” the greatest king of all.

In the Christian tradition, the term “King of Kings” is one of just many names applied to Jesus Christ. This only serves to highlight Ozymandias's arrogance further. Unwittingly, perhaps, he has put himself on the same level as the Son of God. Although it's unlikely that Ozymandias would've known of Jesus, his self-description as “King of Kings” can still be seen as an expression of his monstrous ego and excessive self-regard.

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From what we see of his statue and its inscription, Ozymandias appears to fit the definition of a narcissist. A narcissist cultivates a highly inflated sense of his own importance to cover up his inner feelings of inadequacy. A narcissist craves admiration, tries to assert his superiority over other people, and lacks a sense of humor.

Ozymandias's statue, now lying broken in the desert, shows a "sneer of cold command" that indicates that Ozymandias is an arrogant man who feels superior to others and relates to them in a controlling (commanding) way. The fact that he had a a large statue of himself carved also points to his great sense of his own importance.

Most telling, however, is the inscription at the base of the fallen statue. It speaks to Ozymandias's sense of grandiosity. It says,

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
This emphasizes that he is not content to be a king but must assert he is the mightiest ruler of them all. He sees his "works," the city that must once have surrounded his statue, and expects to be admired and feared for them. He shows that he is the type of person who operates not through connection or empathy, but through trying to intimidate others. He lacks a sense of humor or self-irony and therefore cannot see that all he thinks he has can be easily lost.
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Ozymandias, the Greek name for the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II, is portrayed in Shelley's poem as domineering and cruel. His face, sculpted on a monument that lies in the sand separated from his body, bears a "sneer of cold command." Ozymandias had carved on his pedestal a message that suggested he was arrogant, as he claimed he was "the king of kings." Also on the pedestal were the words "Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!" In other words, Ozymandias regarded himself and the temples and monuments he ordered constructed as better and greater than anything anyone else could construct. In Shelley's portrait, the pharaoh's arrogance is so great that he believes that anyone looking at his works will despair of ever coming close to achieving what he has achieved. Of course, the irony is that in Shelley's poem, Ozymandias' monument of himself stands in a state of decay, and around it stretches the barren dessert. He fancied himself immortal, but time has shown him to be as mortal and prone to decay as everything and everyone else. 

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Ozymandias is Greek for Ramses II, regarded as the greatest, most powerful pharaoh in the Egyptian Empire. Diodorus Siculus, a Greek historian of the first century B. C. E., claimed that this largest statue in Egypt had the inscription "I am Ozmandias, king of kings; if anyone wishes to know what I am and where I lie, let him surpass me in some of my exploits." Ramses II (Ozymandias) erected more statues of himself than any other pharaoh. He also had the engravings on the statues cut deeper to protect against erosion but mostly to prevent against anyone trying to alter the inscription in the future. He was clearly proud and definitively set on immortalizing his legacy. 

The speaker in the poem notes that the sculptor understood Ozymandias, so he carved a face with a frown, a "sneer of cold command." The frowning sneer indicates a haughty, condescending man, proud of being in a superior position to everyone else. The inscription tells onlookers to consider the statue and the pharaoh's accomplishments and feel humbled and inadequate. Of the seven deadly sins, pride is certainly one that fits Ozymandias. The sculptor has portrayed him as a proud, arrogant, disdainful man who wanted his legend to live forever. 

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