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Class 12 Alternative English Chapter 6 Ozymandias of Egypt
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Ozymandias of Egypt
POETRY ( Section Two )
TEXTUAL QUESTION & ANSWERS
A. Answer in one or two words.
1. Which king is referred to in the poem ‘Ozymandias of Egypt’?
Ans: King Ramesses.
2. What type of a poem is ‘Ozymandias of Egypt’?
3. Who is the speaker in the poem?
Ans: Shelley, the traveller and the king are the speaker in the poem.
4. Who tells the poet about the shattered statue?
Ans: The traveller.
5. Name the collection of poetry in which ‘Ozymandias of Egypt’ got first published.
Ans: The Examiner.
B. Answer in a few words.
1. What is the rhyme scheme of ‘Ozymandias of Egypt’?
Ans: ABABA CDCEDEFEF.
2. What is ironic about the inscription on the pedestal of Ozymandias’s statue?
Ans: The inscription on the pedestal of Ozymandias statue says I am Ozymandias, the king of kings, look on my works, ye mighty and despair. This suggests that the king was very boastful, vain and arrogant. He thought that his kingdom would remain forever. But his kingdom was nowhere to be seen and even his own statue was in a dilapidated state. He failed to realise that life is ephemeral.
3. What is the only thing remaining in the vast desert?
Ans: The trunkless legs, the visage and the words on the pedestal.
4. Who was Ozymandias?
Ans: Ozymandias was a powerful king of Egypt. He was proud and arrogant. He claimed himself to be the king of kings. Ozymandias lived with the belief that other mighty rulers would not be able to attain his greatness.
5. What quality of Ozymandias does the narrator represent?
Ans: The poem reflects upon the king’s grand delusions of his own power and might which he thought could be immortalised in stone. However it proved to be only wishful thinking because all that remained of that statue was a colossal wreck.
C. Answer briefly in your own words.
1. Write a brief note on the theme of ‘transience of power’ as discussed in the poem.
Ans: “Ozymandias” is one of the most renowned and renowned poetic works in literature. The poem was written by Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1818 and published in the 11th edition of The Examiner on January 11, 1819, “Ozymandias” is considered one of the most renowned and renowned examples of English Romanticism. The poem is also considered one of the most renowned political poems “Ozymandias” is an ideal example of the transience of power. Ozymandias was once a mighty ruler, but all that remains of him now are ruins. The poem serves as a reminder that all things will eventually come to an end, no matter how great or powerful they may seem. Ozymandias in a reminder that time will always march on and that change is inevitable.
“Ozymandias” is a poetic work that is still relevant today. The poem speaks to the universal truths of the transience of power and the inevitability of change. The poem is a reminder that no matter how great or powerful someone may seem they will eventually be forgotten and their empire will crumble. “Ozymandias” is a timeless work that reminds us of the fragility of our existence and the fleeting nature of power.
2. ‘The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed’. Whose hand and heart has the poet referred to in this line?
Ans: The ‘hand’ refers to the sculptor’s hand and the ‘heart’ refers to the King’s heart.
3. How does the poet describe the expression on Ozymandias’s face?
Ans: The face of ‘Ozymandias’ statue was shattered. The sculptor was such a skilful artist that the expressions on his face were still very clear. They showed frown and hostility on the face of the statue which revealed that he looked down upon others and was an arrogant and boastful king.
D. Answer in detail.
1. Bring out the central idea contained in the poem’ Ozymandias of Egypt’ by P.B. Shelley.
Ans: The central idea of the poem “Ozymandias” written by Percy Shelly is the inevitable decline of all leaders and the empires they build. The poem is a reflection on the transience of power and the ultimate futility of human ambition. It uses the imagery of a shattered statue of the ancient Egyptian ruler Ozymandias to convey the message that even the most powerful and mighty leaders will eventually be forgotten and their works will crumble to dust. The poem serves as a reminder that all things are temporary and that we should not become too attached to our accomplishments.
2. Identify the figures of speech in the poem.
Ans: Although “figures of speech” can be considered broadly to include both poetic (sound) techniques as well as non-literal language, this answer is restricted to figures of speech that are non-literal language.
There are two instances of synecdoche in the poem. With synecdoche, a writer uses a part of the thing to represent the whole. Thus “the hand that mocked them and the heart that fed” uses two parts of the king, his hand and his heart, to represent him.
The use of the word “antique” in line 1 could be considered hyperbole. Hyperbole is an exaggeration for effect. The word “antique” can mean “something belonging to ancient times.” In literal terms, a land cannot belong to ancient times. If the land exists in the present, it “belongs” in the present, so to call a land “antique” is an exaggeration, but it conveys the idea that the land was more important in ancient days.
The idea that the “shattered visage” is able to “tell” about the sculptor is personification, which imparts human characteristics to inanimate objects. The visage is unable to communicate with words, so it literally cannot “tell” anything. The word “tell” is also a pun, or a play on words. Although the statue cannot “tell” the viewer anything, the viewer can “tell” from the statue certain things about the king. This is a different meaning of “tell,” meaning to determine, but is suggested by the way in which it is used here.
The word “decay” implies a metaphor. Although structures can be said to “decay” when they deteriorate, decay more often brings to mind the destruction of organic matter by bacteria and other creatures. Just as this structure has toppled, so the king’s body has decayed and decomposed long ago. The broken statue is a metaphor, or comparison, to the dead king.
The word “colossal” might be considered both an allusion and a tautology. Although the word means simply “extremely large,” it is derived from “colossus,” which means a giant statue and was first used by Herodotus to describe the statues in ancient Egyptian temples. Thus it can be an allusion, a reference to a historical or mythical person or event. It also calls to mind the Rhodes Colossus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world that was destroyed in an earthquake. So to call the wrecked statue a “colossal Wreck” could be like saying it is a “wrecked statue Wreck,” making it a tautology, a way of saying the same thing with different words.
Although not captured in any specific line, the entire poem has an air of understatement and irony. The fact that no judgement is stated about the described scene but that it is left to speak for itself is understatement. Understatement deliberately makes something less important than it is. This scene is obviously quite impressive and meaningful, yet the meaning is not overtly stated. Irony represents a turn of events that is the opposite of what is expected. In this poem, the powerful king inspired fear in his day, but now his “Works” are nowhere to be seen.
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