Comparison between Ozymandias and My Last Duchess Watch

Leahjade1st
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In Ozymandias , Shelley uses irony as a key idea which portrays his ego and power. The sonnet form, is traditionally used for love poems, which is ironic as no-one likes or loves him. In addition to this, his secondhand account highlights how insignificant he has now become and few people have seen or known about his statue. Furthermore, My Last Duchess is also ironic as despite his hubris , the Duke is actually insecure. The use of rhetorical questions: ”How shall I say?” is to create a light tone and gives the impression of power and control as he speaks to the messenger, however he is only trying to hide his jealousy and rage towards his wife. As a result, both Ozymandias and My Last Duchess contain satire, as they both hold ideas of powerful individuals who actually aren’t in control.

My Last Duchess is a dramatic monologue containing iambic pentameter which shows how controlling the duke is. He is the only voice in the poem and uses numerous boastful language. The aside: “(since none puts by/ The curtain i have drawn for you, but i )” shows how even when she's dead, he aims to monopolise who sees her , exercising his control. Whereas is Ozymandias the poem shows lack of control, through the broken statue. The irregular rhyming structure represents the kings “shattered” power, which shows how temporary human creations are in comparison to nature. Shelley also creates a sense of fragmentation by using enjambment and caesura when describing the “Half sunk” statue. Therefore, both poems contrast in structure as My Last Duchess shows power and arrogance in its tone, whereas Ozymandias shows the loss of power.

In Ozymandias the statue is used as an allegory for the ephemeral of power. The declarative “ King of Kings” shows how Ozymandias wished to portray himself as omnipotent, the imperative “look” shows his arrogance as a ruler. However, his “shattered visage” metaphorically described his political power he once had has deteriorated and no longer has a purpose. Shelley has used the statue to show how his power has crumbled just like his statue. However in My Last Duchess, Browning portrays the Duke as self-entitled and obsessed with power: “Notice Neptune, though, taming a sea-horse” The alliteration brings attention to the boastful language which is used to end the poem. In addition, he uses an allusion to more art in order to flaunt his wealth and power, after quickly forgetting and dismissing his dead wife. Therefore in My Last Duchess the Dukes powerful nature is strongly highlighted unlike the Pharaoh's in Ozymandias.
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