8. OZYMANDIAS (P.B.Shelley)

8. OZYMANDIAS (P.B.Shelley)

CONTEXT: In this poem, the poet wants to give the message that feelings of superiority in man are nothing but only illusion. Once he met a traveller from an ancient country. The traveller told him that he saw two bodiless legs and the broken body of a man. His features gave the impression that he was very proud.

EXPLANATION: LINES 1 TO 7: In these lines, the poet tells us the story of a traveller. The traveller tells the poet about a broken statue that he saw 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. We can say that the sculptor was a skilful artist.

EXPLANATION LINES 8 TO 14: In these lines, the poet gives us more details about the statue. There were some words 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. But finally, death snatched away everything and nothing remained behind. So the poet wants to tell us about the futility of worldly success. We should not feel pride in our success. We must be humble in our lives. We should not forget our reality in any condition and at any cost.

Short Questions

Q.NO.1: Who has written this poem?

Answer: P.B. Shelley was a great English Romantic poet. He was a great revolutionary poet of his time. His works show his hatred for oppression.

Q.NO.2: What is the central idea of the poem, “Ozymandias?” OR What is the theme of the poem? OR What is the moral lesson of the poem? OR What kind of feelings does the poet create in the reader’s mind? (SAR, 10, 12, LHR, 10, MUL, 09, 10, DGK, GW-11)

Answer: Shelley thinks that feelings of superiority are only an illusion. Man becomes proud of success but he forgets that death is a great leveller. So, a man should be humble.

Q.No.3: What did the traveller see in the desert? OR In what condition was the statue of Ozymandias standing in the desert? OR What did the traveller find or see in the desert or tell the poet about it? (GW-09, BP-08, DGK-10, SG, LR-11, FB-11, 12, MUL-12)

Answer: The traveller told the poet that he saw a broken statue of a king, Ozymandias. He was lying half-buried in the sand. The passions of vanity, conceit and pride could easily be read from its structure.

Q.NO.4: What was inscribed on the pedestal of Ozymandias’ statue? (BP-07, AJK-10, 11, 12, FB-09, 12)

Answer: The name of the king, Ozymandias and his words were inscribed on the pedestal. These words mean that he asked the people to know about his achievements and feel disappointed.

Q.NO.5: How has the traveller praised the sculptor? (RWP, AJK-12)

Answer: The sculptor drew the king’s image so skillfully that the passions of vanity and pride could easily be read from its structure.