This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Message Of Carpe Diem In Ozymandias

786 words - 3 pages

The Message of Carpe Diem in Ozymandias  


Watching the clock on the wall? Cannot seem to wait until class is over? Perhaps you should slow down and enjoy the present. Ozymandias learns a harsh lesson on enjoying time. "Ozymandias" is a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley where the king of kings, Ozymandias, learns that time is to be lived in the present and when it is gone there is no way of getting it back.


At the beginning of this poem Shelley writes of a narrator telling about an encounter with a man from an antique land. "I met a traveller from an antique land" this already puts you in a frame of time. By starting with "I" as in present tense, but then takes a step backwards in time by introducing a traveller from the past. It is obvious that the traveller is an older person because of the word "antique" in his description. The whole first line of the poem gives a time change from present to past.

After this time change the traveller immediately talks about his past experience taking the text back even further. His story is about a sculpture of Ozymandias the apparent king at that particular time in history. The inscription on the sculpture reads:

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

the inscription holds special meaning after reading the eight lines before it is presented.

Those eight lines give a description of a sculpture that has been wore down by time. It is now only "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone... Half sunk, a shattered visage lies." The words at the end of the inscription now have a special meaning. The king of kings is no longer as mighty and his works are only done in vain. The sculptor has the insight to know that in time that his work will be destroyed and returned to sand. The traveller describes the inscription as being inscribed with a hand that mocked them. Knowing that the sculptor made the inscription at the kings request it tells that the sculptor was very aware that his mighty works would be something to morn over in the future.

Now Shelley has a very unique way of painting the picture of...

Find Another Essay On The Message of Carpe Diem in Ozymandias

An analysis of the poetic techniques employed by Robert Herrick in his exploration of the concept of Carpe Diem

3923 words - 16 pages Herrick's effective simplicity. Sarah Gilead states that the first line is the "distillation of the carpe diem message" as it states a mere fact of life: we are here for a limited time only and we must use our time wisely. It is the universality that has made Herrick's poetry last throughout the ages. He uses parallels that are everlasting. The rosebuds in this stanza symbolize the fruits of life - things we set out to gain in our lives. The

I am Ozymandias, the Unremembered King (An analysis of message from the poem, Ozymandias)

751 words - 3 pages messages that we of today’s society could learn from. The first major message from the poem, “Ozymandias” is that all great things come to end. Whether it is about a person, a country, or an idea, these will all come to an end. Such as the lines stated in the poem, “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair! Nothing but remains…” (Ozymandias, Shelly, page 869, lines 11-12) From this statement Ramses II thought he would remain this powerful figure

To His Coy Mistress Essay: The Carpe Diem Motif

845 words - 3 pages The Carpe Diem Motif in To His Coy Mistress   "Seize the day." For cavalier poets, there seemed to be little else they found nearly as interesting write about than the carpe diem concept. The form of carpe diem poetry is generally consistent, almost to the point of being predictable. Though Andrew Marvell worked with the same concepts, his modifications to them were well-considered. In "To His Coy Mistress," Marvell makes use of

To His Coy Mistress: An Interesting Use of Carpe Diem

1064 words - 5 pages Early 17th century Brittan was experiencing several different types of change, it was a time right after a civil war and time when boundaries of every aspect were being pushed. Amendment of literature was prominent, a common theme arose to which many scholars refer to as carpe diem or “seize the day”. It was a process of writing in which the author justifies the deed of taking action before time runs out or before it is too late. The following

Theme of Carpe Diem in A Fine, a Private Place by Ackerman and To His Coy Mistress by Marvell

907 words - 4 pages The words carpe diem mean “seize the day” in Latin. It is a theme that has been used throughout the history of literature and has been a popular philosophy in teaching from the times of Socrates and Plato up to the modern English classroom. Carpe diem says to us that life isn’t something we have forever, and every passing moment is another opportunity to make the most out of the few precious years that we have left. In the poems “A Fine, a

Metaphysical poetry and the Concept of 'Carpe Diem'- Donne's "To His Mistress Going to Bed" and Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress"

998 words - 4 pages mortality. Challenge conventions and conservative ideology are common preoccupations of artists and just as Donne champions the libertine ideal in "To His Mistress Going to Bed", so Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress" celebrates the metaphysical belief of "Carpe diem" or grasping the day. Both poets see man as a spontaneous and pragmatic being, destined to live one life only and needing to make the most of it. This need to satisfy one's earthly urgings is

The King of Kings: Ozymandias

876 words - 4 pages Shelley drowning. As tragic as that was not only is his works very remarkable, but these three stories, Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, and To a Skylark all paint a strong sensory image; however, the one providing the clearest sense of ideas and feelings would be Ozymandias because the pharaoh took high pride in himself, thought to be the best there was at ruling, and finally the pharaoh’s quote on the statue that he had displayed around the

Analyzing the Spectrum of Ozymandias

785 words - 3 pages 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

Dead Poets' Society. Directed by Peter Reis. Discuss Mr Keating's philosophy; carpe diem (seize the day) and to what extent is it christrian, in relation to four students from the film

528 words - 2 pages do as you feel type attitude. This is not the message that Mr. Keating intended. Mr Keating did not realise how repressed and impressionable the boys are and how serious the outcomes of his message.Seize the day is to some extent a Christian ideal. In the bible it infers that you should live your life in the glory of God and that you should do good to all people and make the most of every opportunity you are given. These ideals have to do with

The Message of Hamlet

954 words - 4 pages Hamlet shows a lot of sadness and also contemplates suicide. He is very confused with his feelings and his depression has brought down his spirits, but Hamlet uses a mask of pride to hide all of this from the naked eye. The many event's which have occurred, has made thinking straight for Hamlet difficult. His plans of avenging his fathers death are unraveling beforehis eyes; and he is not in the right state of mind to fix things.Hamlet may be

The Message of Courage in Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally

1349 words - 5 pages The Message of Courage in Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally Throughout the novel of Schindler’s List, by Thomas Keneally, the message of courage is portrayed greatly. Keneally was a gentile man who wrote about how bad the Holocaust was, even-though he was not Jewish. He tells a story of how one man successfully saved thousands of Jews by letting them work for him. Keneally wrote about how helping someone pays off and by letting someone

Similar Essays

The Theme Of Carpe Diem In Robert Herrick's To The Virgins To Make Much Of Time

866 words - 3 pages The Theme of Carpe Diem in Robert Herrick's To the Virgins to Make Much of Time Robert Herrick's poem, "To the Virgins to Make Much of Time," focuses on the idea of carpe diem. More specifically, in this poem the idea of marriage while love and flesh are still young should be heeded or one may suffer in their later years alone and loveless. Herrick suggests that this gift of virginity might be a great waste if not given while it is still

Carpe Diem In Ronsard's Poetry Essay

695 words - 3 pages seem very different because of their tones, “Quand vous serez bien vieille…” having a much more menacing and sinister tone in comparison to the light and loving tones of “Ode to Cassandre”; however, both of these poems carry the same message of Carpe Diem. In “Quand vous serez bien vieille…”, Ronsard reminds Helene that she will be forgotten soon, because youth doesn’t last long, and the only way to become immortal is by allowing him to use her

Carpe Diem Seizing The Day Essay

867 words - 3 pages new opportunities, engaged new adventures, and were better off for them. They believed Horace the Geek when he said, “Carpe diem.” But they also believed him when he uttered the lesser known words, “Lighten grief with hopes of a brighter morrow.” I guess you can have your cake and eat it too.

Carpe Diem Through The Eyes Of Robert Herrick

842 words - 4 pages is still a-flying;” (Line 1 and 2). In quite a few of Herrick’s poems, he makes the reader feel like they do not have much time to do the things he is talking about in his poems. “Tomorrow will be dying” (Line 4). This is a symbol in conjunction with the previous line “And this same flower that smiles today” (Line 3). The idea that a flower can, and will soon die in order to reinforce the message (carpe diem) in, “To the Virgins to Make Much