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Formalistic Approach to Ozymandius

Formalistic Approach to Ozymandius

While analyzing a poem, a reader notices many things, things like rhyme scheme, word choice, different levels of a poem, and sentence structure. Each one of these things is an ingredient for the four main components of the formalistic approach to poetry. In the poem “Ozymandius” by P.B. Shelley, structure, style, form, and imagery, allow the reader to look deeper into the poem.

First the reader must look at the structure of the poem. However, the structure of Ozymandius is difficult to understand. With no set pattern or rhyme scheme, one must truly study the poem to notice particular things that stick out. At first, one notices the randomness of the rhyme scheme, meaning that sometimes lines rhyme and other times they do not. For example, the first word beginning the rhyme scheme is “land.” There are two other words that rhyme with land throughout the rest of the poem: “sand” and “command.” On the other hand some words do not rhyme with any thing, such as “stone,” “frown” and “appear.” In many poems the rhyme scheme is obvious and helps the poem flow while making it more interesting. Unfortunately in “Ozymandius,” as it is still interesting, there is no true pattern to the rhyme scheme and thus, it does not help the reader.

Next, the reader identifies the various levels of a poem. Upon first examination of the poem, the reader merely sees the author “[meeting] a traveler from an antique land”(line 1) on the first level. When these two strangers begin speaking they offer new information about the poem and thus take the reader to a new and deeper level of the poem. A level that introduces the reader to a sculptor who depicts the rule of Ozymandius t…

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…gery in a poem, word choice. In “Ozymandius,” one notices words like “trunkless,” “lifeless,” and “boundless.” Such words help the reader see that life was once present within the poem. Ozymandius lived once, but now all that remains are his legs without a body to support. While words help build images in the reader’s head throughout this poem, they also form the theme of this poem: The idea that everything is built on top is not always the strongest, and in the end, the foundation may be the only thing that remains when everything else is gone. (David Jones)

Throughout “Ozymandius,” a reader notices the four factors of the formalistic approach to poetry. Each one of these four parts comes out, and before the reader even realizes it, he is able to look at any poem formalistically. He identifies structure, style, form and imagery with ease.

The Message of Carpe Diem in Ozymandias

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 Ozym…

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