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Colossal, Boundless

posted Jan 17, 2011 16:36:04 by ilovekatelynn
Boundless and colossal not only describe the setting of the poem, but also the pedestal and Ozymandias himself. Ozymandias described himself as a powerful person,he says,"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:/Look on my works, ye Mighty,and despair"(10-11) but now Ozymandias is nothing. Ozymandias is remembered in a barren desert which could be viewed in different ways. It could be that Ozymandias wasnt what he said he was, that he wasnt a king or anybody of power for that matter. Or that the desert in its boundless and colossal setting could be fitting for Ozymandias, that he was a powerful person and that the desert is his kingdom, boundless and colossal. I think Ozymandias was a very arrogant, powerful person, and that the desert is an appropriate place to remember him. In our society we tend to associate size with power, that bigger is always better and I think this applies to Ozymandias. Would you want to be remembered in a small grave or by a boundless desert, a kingdom?
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2 replies
kelkleine said Jan 18, 2011 01:55:52
Shelley writes the words "colossal" and "boundless" in line 13 of the poem. What is he specifically referring to for each word? When he says, "...Round the decay/ Of that colossal wreck," what is he referring to? (12-13). What other words and/or phrases provide a similar description of a "colossal wreck"? When he writes, "...boundless and bare/ The lond and level sands stretch far away" what is he referring to? (13-14). How do the words "colossal" and "boundless" NOT refer to the same thing?
jgcabs said Jan 18, 2011 16:07:04
When Shelley mentions colossal, he is not using it in a sense of power, but rather in a sense of failure. When Shelley says, "Round the decay/of that colossal wreck," the reader can see the difference in the past and the present with use of the word colossal. When Ozymandias was king "colossal" would have referred to his kingdom and power, but now "colossal" refers to the expanse of nothing. Boundless and colossal refer to two different things in the poem. Colossal could refer to the giant step of "hero to zero" while boundless adds to the sense of lonliness, that Ozymandias is not recognized anymore. Boundless creates the affect of a "needle in the haystack", that Ozymandias is a small speck in a never ending setting.
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