The poem Ozymandias by Percy Shelly and My Last Duchess
by Robert Browning are very different. However, they do have something in
common, both poems represent power. Ozymandias
represents power as poem shows that human life is insignificant compared to the
passing of time, even for egotistical kings such as Ozymandias, time is very
powerful. My Last Duchess represents power through the narrative technique,
which makes it seem as if the Duke is speaking directly to an audience,
powerful as it captures the reader.
Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” is
about a ruined statue of a powerful ruler who once controlled an ancient
kingdom. Browning depicts that Ozymandias was a very harsh ruler – this is
shown by the quote, “His sneer of cold command”, his “sneer” shows that
Ozymandias somewhat abused his power because he was cruel leader; this leads
the reader on to think that King Ozymandias was most likely a dictator in his
ancient kingdom. “Cold command” is an example of harsh alliteration, the strong
repetition of the letter ‘c’ at the start of both words once again gives a
representation of power, “command” also represents the dictatorship of pharaohs
kingdom and the use of the word “cold” may show that by being a dictator and
abusing power this can reveal that the pharaoh may have been lonely. Shelley
also uses alliteration when mentioning the “boundless and bare” desert, it
emphasises the emptiness of the desert, which has survived far longer than the
statue which is now lifeless. “bare” and Ozymandias has nothing left after he
died because his statue has collapsed. Which may represent all the influence he
had has collapsed.
contrast, My Last Duchess is about a duke who is very powerful. We see this by
the fact that he refers to his surname as “a nine-hundred-year-old name. This
shows that his family ancestry has been one of importance for many hundreds of
years. This also suggests to the reader that his name would have been known
throughout Italy, predominantly in Ferrara since his surname is still
significant nine hundred years later. The Duke seems to be extremely proud of
his name to even know that his name has been one of power for these centuries.
“Ozymandias” is a sonnet, a fourteen-line poem metered in iambic pentameter.
The rhyme scheme is unusual for a sonnet of this era; it does not fit a
conventional Petrarchan pattern, this suggests that things are out of place.
Ozymandias’ rule is no longer and time has distorted all of his achievements
and power he used to have. This gives evidence that the power the king once had
has all been changed, due to the power of time which overshadowed the