Ozymandias facts for kids
The poem has been noted for its skillful diction, and its powerful themes and imagery. The central theme of Ozymandias is the inevitable (unavoidable) ruin of leaders and empires. The message is that all leaders and the empires they build will always end up as nothing, however mighty they are.
The name Ozymandias comes from a transliteration into Greek of the throne name of Ramesses II. The sonnet paraphrases (copies in different words) the writing on the base of a statue of Ramesses. The statue is called Younger Memnon and it is from Thebes (it is now in the British Museum). The writing on the statue was recorded by Diodorus Siculus in his Bibliotheca historica. It reads: "King of Kings am I, Osymandias. If anyone would know how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass one of my works".
Images for kids
1817 draft by Percy Bysshe Shelley, Bodleian Library
Ozymandias Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.