- Title: Ozymandias
- Text type: Short
- Author: Percy Shelley
Percy Shelly’s “Ozymandias” communicates hubris and how the effects can destroy a persons dignity and integrity. The poem describes the story of a “traveler from an antique land” who illustrates an abandoned statue in the desert. Shelly uses human features and personification to bring the statue to life, we witness this when he describes the statue as having “trunkless legs of stone”. Shelly also makes a point to communicate how “a shattered visage lies, whose frown and wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command” this conveys a forgotten, cheerless image and raises the suspicion of what happened to all mighty “king of kings” to leave his image as “nothing beside remains”.
I can relate to this text through my ego, often I think I’m better at something than I am, so I don’t have to try 100% on the thing I’m doing. For example, when I was running the school cross country I only ran as fast as I needed to win, not as fast as I possibly could. This can have demoralizing effects and made me feel guilty and feel as though I was running to impress others, not for myself. Like in the text we see the effects of how being presumptuous can backfire, often it can be linked to being insecure in yourself and occurs in people who do not feel comfortable with who they are.
This poem communicates ambition as a value which will consume a person, we see this same pattern in “Ozymandias” as we do in “Macbeth”. Both texts show how dire ambition initially gives great determination to the individual, but the later the effects often backfire and can destroy a once great person. However, this is not the only way to view ambition, without greed, ambition is an amazing tool and gives a person great values and success when used correctly. For example, Conner McGregor, an extremely successful MMA fighter is definitely thought to be an arrogant athlete. This is what makes him so successful, he believes he is the best and lets everyone know it. By bringing down other athletes like Eddie Alvarez, he says thing like “I predict I will rearrange his face” this strategy is very effective for McGregor and bring out the motivation and determination to make him live up to his words that claim his success.
This text reinforces a vital lesson, being caught up in your head is unproductive and this is what led Ozymandias to destruction. Having an open mind and greater idea of the big picture is necessary if ambition is to be used correctly.