What is the narrator's viewpoint on Ozymandias?

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In the sonnet "Ozymandias" by Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, two narrators appear. The first line introduces the sonnet's narrator, the "I" of the poem, yet this character does not appear again in the poem. The remainder of the poem consists of the words of the "traveler from an antique land" who speaks to the first narrator about what he has seen there. Since they are the words of the traveler himself, we can consider him the second narrator. Although he is ostensibly describing a scene dispassionately, his word choices nevertheless give away an impression about Ozymandias, the Egyptian King known as Rameses II, who ruled in the 13th century B.C. Based on the "visage" of the fallen statue of the ruler, the narrator concludes that he had "a sneer of cold command," a mocking hand, and an oppressive heart--"the heart that fed." These are certainly not neutral descriptors. The narrator must feel that the ruler was cruel, unjust, and merciless. The narrator describes the inscription, which declares the ruler's utter supremacy, without comment. After that, he concludes the description of the scene by describing the surrounding landscape--a vast and lifeless desert. He places the "decay of that colossal wreck" in a setting that denies the narcissistic inscription the ruler had ordered. This may give the narrator some satisfaction as he realizes that this unjust potentate can no longer exert control, can no longer command, mock, or feed on his subjects. The tyrant is now fallen onto the "level" sands, bringing him down to the position of other mere mortals. The narrator's choice to focus on those endless sands may indicate he prefers a more democratic or republican form of governing that does not set one person above all others, suggesting that Ozymandias has received his just desserts in the end.

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Percy Bysshe Shelly's "Ozmandias" is an example of the narrator as a first person observer, an active voice in the poem, who nonetheless does not directly inject his personal opinion into the poem. The narrator is present in the poem, yet remains observational, creating the necessary distance required to allow the reader to judge for him or herself what is occurring within the poem. 

The reader is presented with an ancient statue sitting in desert sands.              

"Two vast and trunkless legs of stone                                                      Stand in the desert."

The statue is obviously in disarray, ravaged by time.  It is the statue of a once great king, now strew across a desolate landscape.

"And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is OZYMANDIAS, King of Kings.
Look on my works ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains."

The narrator's point of view is the point of view of a dispassionate observer, which makes the impact of the poem so much the greater. The narrator makes no comment on Ozmandias, and merely allows the facts presented within the poem to powerfully speak for themselves.

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What is the narrator's opinion about Ozymandias?

The narrator describes his meeting with a traveler, who witnessed the decaying statue of Ozymandias crumbled in the middle of a vast desert. The speaker's description of the sneer on the statue's visage and his comments that the ruler had a "hand that mocked" his subjects emphasizes the narrator's negative view of the tyrant. The narrator is essentially calling Ozymandias a heartless, selfish leader, who oppressed and intimidated his subjects during his reign. The speaker's attention to the callous, authoritative demeanor of the former king indicates that he lacks sympathy for Ozymandias and taunts his tarnished legacy. After describing the bold message on the pedestal, he refers to the decaying statue as a "Colossal Wreck" in the middle of a vast, boundless desert. The speaker's tone is mocking and critical of the once-proud king, who became a victim of hubris, which is evident by the irony of the statue that continues to decay in the sand. By emphasizing various aspects of the ruins, highlighting the callous look on the statue's face, and describing the proud, intimidating message on the broken pedestal, the narrator expresses absolutely no sympathy for Ozymandias and views him as a callous, authoritative ruler, who has a tarnished, unimpressive legacy.

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What is the narrator's opinion about Ozymandias?

The narrator's view of Ozymandias is at least twofold.

First, the narrator believed that Ozymandias was proud. When Ozymandias was in his prime, he thought that he was the greatest. He was boastful, filled with hubris, and probably thought that he would live on forever (at least his kingdom). The following words make this point clear:

'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'

Second, the narrator believed that Ozymandias was blind to the fact that all things decline with time. Ozymandias should have known this from history. What kingdom has existed without decline?  All empires, kings, and powers rise and fall. Inevitable entropy exists. That this is true in this poem is proved by the fact that nothing of Ozymandias exists. Here is how the poem ends:

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away."

The narrator might also have believed that Ozymandias was tragic. 

In short, the main point of the poem is that Ozymandias' pretense blinded him and puffed him up. 

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How does the narrator feel about the king in "Ozymandias"?

The narrator of Shelley's classic poem "Ozymandias" has an ironic yet somber tone as he describes the shattered, broken remains of the once mighty king's intimidating statue, which is now in pieces strewed across an empty desert. In the poem, the narrator describes what a traveler once told him about the ruins of Ozymandias's statue. All that remains of the statue are two vast legs made of stone and a "half sunk" image of a head buried in the sand. In addition to the ancient king's crumbling visage that once threatened his subjects, there is an ironic message carved on the pedestal celebrating Ozymandias's works. The narrator then employs a mocking yet melancholy tone when he refers to the statue as a "colossal Wreck" and describes the vast, boundless desert stretching over the horizon.

Although the narrator mocks the proud, arrogant king, who has nothing to show of his past achievements, the poem's irony is somber and influences the reader to contemplate their own mortality. The narrator challenges the audience to think about the ephemeral nature of political power, examine the manifestations of hubris, and reflect on the insignificance of human beings to the passage of time. Overall, one could argue that the narrator feels that Ozymandias had an inflated perception of himself, which is worthy of ridicule, but also was defenseless against the passage of time like all humans.

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How does the narrator feel about the king in "Ozymandias"?

The narrator adopts an ironic attitude towards this mighty king for having been knocked off his pedestal--and through Ozymandias, sends a warning all tyrants. He feels a certain contempt for the bragging and egomania in Ozymandias.

The poem goes as follows: the narrator meets a traveller who has seen the statue of a once mighty ruler in the desert. Now it is just two legs standing up. The face, called the "visage," lies shattered on the ground, where the traveler see its "sneer of cold command." "Sneer" is an especially derogatory term. 

On the base of the statue, the following words appear: 

'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'

But none of these works remain. The desert is completely empty, except for sand. The narrator is calling on "the mighty" to despair, because their delusions of grandeur will also be reduced to this. Like Ozymandias, none of them are as great as they think they are. In the end, they are empty braggarts.

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