The Ozymandias that is described and talked about in the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley is actually based on an actual Egyptian pharaoh, Ramses the second. Ramses the second translates to Ozymandias in Greek. Ozymandias ruled Egypt during the thirteenth century B.C. Ozymandias, or Ramses the second, was known for his ambition and for the giant statues of himself that he ordered to be made. It is one of these statues that is the centerpiece of this poem.
Ozymandias starts by mentioning that the speaker met a mysterious “traveler from an antique land” who tells him this story. This mysterious traveler paints an image in your mind with his description of the remains of this colossal statue. “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert.” This are possible the legs of the statue while the torso and mid-section of the statue is missing. The statue is in pieces and destroyed.
Half way sunk into the ground, the face of the statue lies. Its “frown and wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command.” Cold command is said to be how Ozymandias ruled Egypt during his time as Pharaoh. Inscribed on the statue are the words “ My name is Ozymandias, king of kings; look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” This is believed to be left for rulers of opposing Empires as a warning, however nothing else from his “works” remains. Despite this, the presence of this statue allows the memory of this great pharaoh to live on.
The inspiration for “An Arundel Tomb” by Philip Larkin was a stone monument in Chichester Cathedral near the site of the ancient Roman town of Arundel. The monument is a fourteenth century table tomb. On it lie images of Richard Fitzalan and his second wife Eleanor, holding hands. Philip Larkin begins to talk about how much the stone moment must have changed over time. The “soundless damage” that has been done to it over the years has corroded the images/effigies and has damaged it.
“How soon succeeding eyes begin to look, not read.” This refers to the fact that over time, people begin to look at the stone monuments as...