English lit poetry paragraphWatch
Compare the ways poets present ideas about power in ‘Ozymandias’ and in one other poem from ‘Power and conflict’.
Both ozymandias and my last duchess portray human power as being ultimately worthless. Shelly uses the irony “shattered visage” which highlights that human achievements are insignificant compared to the passing of time. Alternatively it shows that the king is unrecognisable and has no identity anymore. Browning uses the character of the duke to show how his wife didn’t value his “gift if nine hundred years old name”. This leads to her death as she hurt the dukes pride. Both poems show that power is useless and is easily destroyed. Shelly hated the oppression if ordinary people and this belief was supported by the French Revolution where the monarchy was overthrown. In contrast browning hated pride and wanted to show that status doesn’t matter. Here both poets have different views about power in their poems. In ozymandias the reader is challenged to consider their own view of power as clearly it wasn’t useful for ozymandias as his statue was broken and destroyed. Similarly, in my last duchess, Browing challenges the reader to think about their views about status and if it is actually important as it wasn’t for the duke as his wife didn’t appreciate his “gift”