With its heavy irony and iconic line, “Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!” “Ozymandias” is one of the most famous poems of the Romantic era. It was written by Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1817 and eventually became his most famous work. The poem describes the half-buried remnants of a statue of Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II and contrasts the pharaoh’s proud words with his ruined likeness.
In this guide, we give the background on how “Ozymandias” was created, explain the key Ozymandias meaning, and discuss the poetic devices used in this poem. By the end of this article, you’ll have a complete understanding of “Ozymandias.”