Summary and Critical Appreciation of “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley

1. Summary and Critical Appreciation of OZYMANDIAS by P. B. Shelley
The poem “Ozymandias” has been penned by P.B.Shelley, a great romantic and revolutionary poet. He has written this poem to deal with the feelings of superiority in a man. It means, the poet has adopted didactic approach. In the first seven lines, the poet tells that he came across a traveller who was from ancient land. The traveller tells the poet about a broken statue which he came across in a desert. The statue was in a miserable condition. He was lying half buried in the sand. His broken body was lying nearby. His image was skillfully drawn. The passions of vanity, conceit and pride could easily be read from its structure. The artist had beautifully drawn these characteristics in that.
In the lines (8-14), the poet gives us more details about the statue. He says that the sculptor very beautifully drew the statue. The sculptor had already comprehended the feelings of the sculptor. Some words were inscribed on the pedestal of the statue. Now only these words were visible. These words reflected the success and achievements of his life. He enjoyed a life of glory and glamour. He was the king of the kings. But finally death snatched away everything because death is a great leveler. Nothing remained behind.
To sum up, the poet wants to tell us about the futility of worldly success. We should not feel pride at our success. We must be humble in our lives. We should not forget our reality in any condition and at any cost because “Pride is a spiritual cancer; it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.” We must also keep in mind the fact that time and death are great levelers. Whatever a man achieves, it is not permanent rather it is futile. When death approaches a man, it snatches everything. It leaves a man to nothing. So, the best idea to live a life is to have humbleness. One should not be proud of one’s achievements because “Pride will cost you everything but leave you with nothing. So, stay humble.”                                    (Words: 348)