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Want to revise how key themes develop in 'Ozymandias'?


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This activity will help you understand how Shelley's language choice and tone develop these key themes in the poem. In other words, what is the effect of these key themes on the reader? What exactly is Shelley trying to show about these key themes? First, let's identify the main themes in the poem.






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This activity is designed so that you, not only identify these key themes and ideas in the poem according to the language Shelley uses, but explore how these themes develop in the poem. So how does Shelley develop these themes in his poem?



Here's an example of an evaluation on the theme of pride in the poem:

Shelley centres the theme of pride in Ozymandias, portraying the impact of having too much pride. Ozymandias refers to himself as the "king of kings", showcasing his arrogance. However, the fact that Ozymandias is now a "colossal wreck, boundless and bare" illustrates that his pride has been reduced to nothing over time. Shelley uses Ozymandias' statue to illustrate the downfall of having too much pride.


If you want to make this activity more of a revision exercise then jot these themes down. If you want to use this activity to test yourself, then go ahead and try to memorise these key themes. It's up to you how you want to use this activity.

Remember, it's not a race. So take your time with each step! You'll be fine.


You should always refer to your own text when working through these examples. These quotations are for reference only.

10 questions
The quotations/text used in this exercise are from the copyrighted works of Percy Bysshe Shelley, ‘Ozymandias’