lilyxxx4
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how to compare ozymandias and my last duchess on the theme of pride?
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absolutelysprout
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heya this is a bit of one of my old essay plans for the idea of power in the two poems, have edited and added some stuff (which crosses over nicely w pride imo) sorry the formatting is so bad.

OZYMANDIAS;
“Sneer of cold command”
We can see that he’s arrogant and a heartless king.
“Cold” is an adjective that suggests detachment from others, which is not a desirable quality of a king/ruler. “Sneer” also suggests that he had little regard for others, a scornful king.
The poem is in sonnet form; sonnets are typically used in love poetry.
It’s ironic in this case because it shows Ozymandias’ self-love and obsession with himself as well a sense of pride.

MY LAST DUCHESS;
Entire dramatic monologue from the point of view of the Duke.
One long stanza where he doesn’t let anyone else speak shows his domineering nature.
Obsessed with himself.

OZYMANDIAS;
“King of kings”- religious imagery.
He thinks of himself as a god, better than anyone else.
Only highlights his downfall because now no one knows or remembers him.

MY LAST DUCHESS;
Repetition of “my” and “I” throughout the poem shows the possessive and self-obsessive nature of the Duke.
Despite the poem being about the duchess, he constantly brings himself into it. For example, many of her actions are frequently mentioned throughout the poem and it’s only second nature that he insists on adding his opinion.
Short sharp statement of “then all smiles stopped together.”
It’s ambiguous, the length of the statement markedly different from the rest of the poem- this may shock the reader as well as showing the extent of his power.


HOW IS THIS POWER UNDERMINED?
OZYMANDIAS;
This power is undermined through the changes in rhyme scheme- first it’s a Petrarchan sonnet then it changes to a Shakespearean sonnet.
It changes and is replaced, much like power.
We hear of Ozymandias through a traveller- it makes him sound less powerful + important.

MY LAST DUCHESS;
Duke cannot fully control himself- random outbursts throughout the poem.
“(which i have not)” + “who’d stoop to blame in this sort of trifling?”
He can’t fully comprehend everything that happened to his wife, so questions also arise- not only shows lack of control but understanding.
Any attempts to remain humble only show his lack of honesty- his pride stops him from asking her which eventually leads to her demise.

Enjambment is used throughout the poem- it’s not a clean, cut speech- it’s the Duke rambling about something he was paranoid over.
“T’was not her husband’s presence only, called that spot of joy”
Duke cannot control how the Duchess reacts to others- he is not the only one who can make her happy. “Spot” suggests he dislikes this idea of happiness and that he saw the trait as a flaw because had no power over it.
“E’en would be some stooping; and i choose never to stoop”
Duke’s obsession with reputation and seeing himself as markedly better than the Duchess can be seen as a weakness.
“I gave commands” against “Will’t you please rise?” he’s very likely mad; he overwhelms the embassy with a story of his paranoia which led to the murder of his ex-wife, then casually switches back to small talk, interested in a new wife.
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