Analyzing the Spectrum of Ozymandias
The poem "Ozymandias" tells a story about a traveler, who reveals his or her story to the narrator of the poem. The author of the poem is Percy Bysshe Shelley. He keeps the interest of the poem by using constant sounds and images that are clear and concise, by supplying mystery with words that have more than one meaning, and by using a spectrum of words that capture the interpreters attention.
These series of sounds are noticeable from the second line of the text. Shelley uses the "s" sound more frequent than any other tone. This does two things for the poem; first it takes the reader to a level of easy reading and tends to make the reader find the rhythm easier; second it sets up Shelley’s other constant sounds to let them stand out more so. Lines such as "Trunkless legs of stone," "shattered visage lies," and "stamped on this lifeless things," make the poem easy on the ears and give the poem a rhythm to follow. Shelley then puts the word sneer in front of cold command. By placing the "s" sound in front of the harsh "c" it tends to make the statement more profound. The last line of the poem reads "The lone and level sands stretch far away." This singals the reverse of the "c" constant; it sets the "l" sound as distant and by itself by breaking the rhythm then coming back to it. This also has the effect of letting the setting come back into view. After he creates a setting in the desert, this is a mental image to grasp how desolate the surroundings are.
Shelley then supplies mystery to the reader. He uses words which have a meaing that could be explained in different ways. When Shelley placed the word antique in describing the traveller as being from an antique land, it demostrates an era of mystery. The question has to be asked; what is anitque land? Anitque seems to have the meaning of old and wise, but what land is not old and wise. Some lands are undiscovered but still they have a history and a past. Shelley leaves the traveller, stopping to tell the story, wise but no real home. This kind of writing keeps the reader aware of the poem and interested.
The poem gives a wonderful amount of images so a mental picture can be drawn. Just in these six lines Shelley introduces another character, tells all about this sculptor, gives information that is important to the mood of the poem, and lets the image of an upset artist appear in the picture.
" Half sunk, a shattered...