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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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