Ozymandias compared to My last Duchess

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CJStevens
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Please critique this response, let me know where to improve and what grade you'd give it. (I know you're not examiners, but I really need the help. Thanks in advance)


In both, Shelley's "Ozymandias" and Browning's "My last duchess", we can see clear representations of power, to which provide us with both positives and negatives. We see a multitude of similarities with how the poets aim to show this. Both poets prove their control via some form of art, be it a statue or painting, this truly underlines the romantic era for which both poems were written. Equally, we see both poems use a male protagonist, which suggests a patriarchal society for when the pieces were written.

In Shelley's "Ozymandias", we see how the poet aims to show power through an obvious and over-exaggerating nature. We first see this in the name, Ozymandias; for when broken down and translated to English, it means "To rule, to breath". This may signify how ruling over ones subjects was second nature to Ramses II , as well as how he deems it to be on a similar level to breathing. Although, we could also suggest that the name means to rule what breaths, which can be paired with the quote "whose frown and wrinkled lip". The quote suggests how brutal Ramses II was in his ruling and how he wanted such power to be shown in his statue, highlighting how he wishes for such power to be displayed.

However, in "My last Duchess", we see Browning take more of a secretive approach. This is done through displaying such power, but in a way that the Duke's audience do not realise. Here, Browning opts for use of asides, seen in the quote "(since none puts by the curtain I have drawn for you)". Here we can infer not only the secretive nature of the Duke, but also his control over his now passed wife, despite her being a painting. Use of the phrase "I have drawn for you", we see how, although an object, Browning aims to show how all power has been stripped and given to the Duke. This therefore emphasises to the reader, how not only were women objectified, seen in her being a painting, but also heavily controlled by men.

Furthermore, we see Shelley underline power through a sense of hubris, where the quote "King of kings" suggests Ozymandias to be all powerful, hence why we should "despair". We can note how "King of Kings" may be reference to Jesus and so we imply that Ozymandias truly believes his power to be unnatural, and that with the ability to crush all who oppose him. From this quote, we can understand the cacophonous sounds that are produced and so can link that to the brutality and futility of his reign. Thus signifying his hubris as he seems to think his power will be ever lasting.

We are equally met with a sense of hubris in Browning's poem. This comes in the line "Notice Neptune, though, taming a sea horse" where we can see the Duke to be floundering. This is due to having almost slipping up about killing his wife, and so he diverts the attentions to a piece of art. Browning may have done this to signify the power of art in the romantic era, however we can assume, from the beginning of the quote "notice Neptune", that it is indeed the Duke comparing himself to a God. This is due to the latter part making reference to "taming a sea horse", an act he has seemingly done when turning his wife's life into that of a mere painting.
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Boomwhat
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Level 6-7 in GCSE grades. Very long essay but i value quality over quantity. I like the fact u didn't repeat yourself. Finally there is no way you would be able to right this out in and exam maybe try and summarise your points better. You clearly searched some of this up which is a great idea. The only thing i don't like is you didn't refer to structure.
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Boomwhat
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I say 5-6 because the mark scheme says you cant get past a level 5 but it's definitely at the top band of level 5
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username5195672
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King of Kings <- yes it shows power but get the view point of the power has diminished over time as it's now only to a tombstone people look at similar to my last duches' painting (hinting power is inevitably lost in both texts etc..)

imo it's a solid 7, being more critical and concise in ur analysis will push you up. then again i did eng lit 2 yrs ago xD

ps: use mr bruff/salles etc
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CJStevens
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(Original post by Boomwhat)
Level 6-7 in GCSE grades. Very long essay but i value quality over quantity. I like the fact u didn't repeat yourself. Finally there is no way you would be able to right this out in and exam maybe try and summarise your points better. You clearly searched some of this up which is a great idea. The only thing i don't like is you didn't refer to structure.
(Original post by Boomwhat)
I say 5-6 because the mark scheme says you cant get past a level 5 but it's definitely at the top band of level 5
I did my exam last year, got an 8 and now do A-level English Lit. This was also written by hand at first before being typed up so it was written in exam conditions.

Thanks though.
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Usernamechange44
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(Original post by CJStevens)
I did my exam last year, got an 8 and now do A-level English Lit. This was also written by hand at first before being typed up so it was written in exam conditions.

Thanks though.
This was a while ago but would you recommend English for a level? I’m thinking of doing it but I’m not so sure
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CJStevens
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(Original post by Usernamechange44)
This was a while ago but would you recommend English for a level? I’m thinking of doing it but I’m not so sure
Hello! I love Eng Lit at A-level, though make no mistake, it sure is hard! Equally, it isn't as similar to GCSE as you may think, so keep that in mind as well!
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