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Analyse Language in 'Ozymandias'

In this worksheet, students will exercise their analysis of language in 'Ozymandias'.

'Analyse Language in 'Ozymandias'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  

Curriculum subtopic:  

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Want to practice your language analysis in 'Ozymandias'?

 

 

 

Thought bubble

 

 

 

Good! You've come to the right place. All you need to do is refer to the poem 'Ozymandias' in your anthology! 

 

 

To quickly recap: Written by Percy Bysshe Shelley, this poem is about a speaker who meets a traveller, who tells him the story of Ozymandias, an Egyptian king in 1200 B.C.E, whose statue still remains. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take notes as you do this activity. It'll definitely help you absorb more information if you're writing all the new things you learn alongside. Take your time and absorb the teacher's explanation- it's full of helpful gems!

 

Looking at the quote from the fifth line:

 

"half sunk, a shattered visage lies..."

 

 

Pick out the one answer that you think gives the best explanation of symbolism within the quote.

The quote symbolises that fate is cruel

The quote suggests that things last over time

The quote symbolises that Ozymandias' legacy is meaningless because his statue is destroyed and alone

The quote symbolises that Ozymandias' legacy has lasted really well

"My name is Ozymandias [...]  look upon my works.."

 

Pick out two reasons why Shelley might use the pronoun "my" in this quote.

 

The pronoun "my" suggests that the traveller is listening to Ozymandias speak

The pronoun "my" suggests that Ozymandias is speaking about someone else

The pronoun "my" suggests that Ozymandias chose the words on his pedestal

The pronoun "my" suggests that the traveller has a very good memory

The repetition of the pronoun "my" suggests that Ozymandias is a very self-absorbed person

Pick one word (either adjective or noun) from lines 5-6 which depict Ozymandias' facial expression. 

Now check out the second-to-last line.

 

"of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare"

 

 

Other than alliteration, what other technique is used in the sentence and what does it suggest? Pick one answer for each row.

 

"...two vast and trunkless legs of stone...stand in the desert".

 

What do you think this quote suggests about the statue? Pick one correct answer.

The quote depicts the statue as grand

The quote presents the statue as small

The quote presents the statue as grand, but broken and destroyed

The description portrays the statue as sculpted badly and unstable

"the hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed."

 

Fill out the table with the language devices that are present or not present in the quote.

 

 presentnot present
past-tense verbs
adjectives
personification
adverbs
imagery of compassion

"the lone and level sands stretch far away"

 

 

Fill in the blank with your choice of three words from the selection below.

 

- dark

- time

- caesura

- contrast

- depth

- alliteration

- summer

- isolation

 presentnot present
past-tense verbs
adjectives
personification
adverbs
imagery of compassion

"...nothing beside remains. Round the decay..."

 

Fill in the blanks with three words out of the selection below. 

 

- contrast

- darkness

- metaphor

- theme

- pathetic fallacy

- motif

- adverbs

- enjambment

- caesura

 presentnot present
past-tense verbs
adjectives
personification
adverbs
imagery of compassion

Link the correct language device to the quote (all in the last five lines).

 

 presentnot present
past-tense verbs
adjectives
personification
adverbs
imagery of compassion

Last question!

 

Fill in the table linking the language device to its effect.

  • Question 1

Looking at the quote from the fifth line:

 

"half sunk, a shattered visage lies..."

 

 

Pick out the one answer that you think gives the best explanation of symbolism within the quote.

CORRECT ANSWER
The quote symbolises that Ozymandias' legacy is meaningless because his statue is destroyed and alone
EDDIE SAYS
You'd be right to assume that Shelley is depicting that nothing really lasts. Ozymandias' desire to be immortal- represented in his statue- is, ultimately, meaningless! Why? Because it is "shattered" and "half sunk". What do you think Shelley is suggesting about Ozymandias' legacy? You may note that this quotation happens early on in the poem. This is done on purpose, to set the tone for the rest of the poem.
  • Question 2

"My name is Ozymandias [...]  look upon my works.."

 

Pick out two reasons why Shelley might use the pronoun "my" in this quote.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The repetition of the pronoun "my" suggests that Ozymandias is a very self-absorbed person
EDDIE SAYS
Pronouns are important. Think about the way that Shelley has presented Ozymandias (hint, he is arrogant and cruel!). Think about the motif of power and arrogance in this poem. Is there a reason that Shelley has made Ozymandias' first word the pronoun "my"? What does this suggest about Ozymandias' self-importance. Also, note how the pronoun is repeated. Repetition is important; a word is repeated in order to be emphasised. Lastly, consider WHY Shelley has used direct speech in the poem. Remember, Ozymandias never ACTUALLY speaks because he is dead. So it is the traveller telling the speaker of the poem (Shelley, maybe?) that he has seen Ozymandias' statue and IMAGINED Ozymandias speaking to him. So, Ozymandias is so arrogant, that his self-importance seems to reflect through the inanimate statue, in the form of direct speech. Talk about complicated!
  • Question 3

Pick one word (either adjective or noun) from lines 5-6 which depict Ozymandias' facial expression. 

CORRECT ANSWER
wrinkled
cold
sneer
EDDIE SAYS
"Wrinkled", "sneer" and "cold" are the correct adjectives here! Think about the image of Ozymandias here. "Wrinkled"- suggesting that he is old/lived a very long time. But also, a sense of vulnerability, maybe? If someone is wrinkled, they're a bit frail. "Sneer"- suggests that Ozymandias is cruel/mocking/arrogant. So quite a contrast to the connotations that the adjective "wrinkled" provide! Why do you think Shelley has used these two words together? What image are you building in your mind about what Ozymandias looked like? Lastly, the adjective "cold" really emphasises the cruelty of "sneer". So, Ozymandias really wasn't a nice guy, was he?
  • Question 4

Now check out the second-to-last line.

 

"of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare"

 

 

Other than alliteration, what other technique is used in the sentence and what does it suggest? Pick one answer for each row.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The technique of irony is a motif throughout the poem- the large statue of a king who claimed to hold such a large quantity of power is now destroyed and left isolated in the middle of the desert! Poor guy. Think about the reason the adjectives "colossal" and "bare" have been put together in the same sentence. Is Shelley making a point about human nature? No matter how powerful we think we are, in the end, we are all vulnerable to destruction. Nothing lasts forever, not even Ozymandias, the 'King of Kings'! If you're up for a challenge, think about the order of the adjectives. Why has "colossal" been placed before "bare"? Maybe Shelley is presenting Ozymandias' colossal life, only to contrast it with the idea of "bare and boundless" after his death.
  • Question 5

"...two vast and trunkless legs of stone...stand in the desert".

 

What do you think this quote suggests about the statue? Pick one correct answer.

CORRECT ANSWER
The quote presents the statue as grand, but broken and destroyed
EDDIE SAYS
The large scale of the statue, presented by the adjective "vast", depicts Ozymandias' power and influence within his lifetime. However, when we pair this with the adjective "trunkless", we see that Ozymandias' statue has been broken down over time. What does this suggest about Ozymandias' influence over time?
  • Question 6

"the hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed."

 

Fill out the table with the language devices that are present or not present in the quote.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
 presentnot present
past-tense verbs
adjectives
personification
adverbs
imagery of compassion
EDDIE SAYS
The quote uses past-tense verbs in order to depict how the sculptor crafted Ozymandias' statue. The verb "mocked" is interesting! It's actually got two meanings: 1. To make fun of 2. To imitate What do you think this implies about the sculptor, and how he perceived Ozymandias? Does it seem like the sculptor really respected his power? Is the sculptor mocking Ozymandias? Is Shelley? As well as this, the technique of personification is used. It seems as if the statue is still dictating the way it should be presented.
  • Question 7

"the lone and level sands stretch far away"

 

 

Fill in the blank with your choice of three words from the selection below.

 

- dark

- time

- caesura

- contrast

- depth

- alliteration

- summer

- isolation

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The quote definitely reflects many things- the passing of time, which links in well with the technique of alliteration ("Lone" and "level"). Isolation is a big theme within the poem, isn't it? How do you think the use of alliteration (which extends the reading time of the sentence) relates to the idea of time passing? As well as this, the theme of isolation is made MORE apparent. Ozymandias has been left alone for years and will continue for many years to come. Remember, Shelley uses the motif of irony throughout the poem. Ozymandias thinks extremely highly of himself, however, he ultimately has been left as a ruined and isolated statue!
  • Question 8

"...nothing beside remains. Round the decay..."

 

Fill in the blanks with three words out of the selection below. 

 

- contrast

- darkness

- metaphor

- theme

- pathetic fallacy

- motif

- adverbs

- enjambment

- caesura

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
It's interesting how Shelley uses contrast and caesura to present this divide between this great, self-important statue, and its surroundings, which are bare. Also, think about the use of the word "decay". What does this word suggest about Ozymandias' statue?
  • Question 9

Link the correct language device to the quote (all in the last five lines).

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The last few lines of the poem contain a lot of ironies, as well as the motif of time passing/destruction. Think about the reasons Shelley uses these techniques and what it may imply about Ozymandias' arrogance and desire for immortality? Do you think Ozymandias has achieved what he desires? Yes and no are both valid answers, as long as you have the evidence to back the answer up.
  • Question 10

Last question!

 

Fill in the table linking the language device to its effect.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Remember that every device used needs to be evaluated- what is the effect on the reader and what are the attitudes presented by the poet! Keep this in the back of your mind and be creative when you think about different possibilities! Think about the effects of different devices on the presentation of themes. Why does Shelley use sibilance- does it enhance Ozymandias' cruelty? Does it extend his cruelty into the statue? Does it mimic Ozymandias' tone of voice, so we can imagine what he sounded like? Similarly, why would Shelley use personification? What does this say about Ozymandias' immortality and how powerful is this idea of longevity? Lastly, why does the contrast of "survive" and "lifeless" relate so much to this talking statue?
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