Class 10 English Ozymandias Summary and Important Questions

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Summary

'Ozymandias' by P. B. Shelly is a sonnet describing the remnants of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II. The speaker describes a meeting with someone who has travelled to a place where ancient civilizations once existed. We know from the title that he's talking about Egypt. The traveller told the speaker a story about an old, fragmented statue in the middle of the desert. The statue is broken apart but you can still make out the face of a persol. The face looks stern and powerful, like a ruler. The sculptor did a good job at expressing the ruler's personality and his disdain for others.
On the pedestal near the face, the traveller reads an inscription in which the ruler Ozymandias tells anyone who might happen to pass by, 'Look around and see how mighty I am! ' But there is no other evidence of his awesomeness in the vicinity of his giant, broken statue. There is just a lot of sand, as far as the eye can see. The traveller ends his story.
The narrator recalls his encounter with ' ... a traveller from an antique land ... ' 'Antique' foreshadows future events in which the traveller depicts the ancient period of Ozymandias' rule. The traveller describes the scene of the ruin in lines 2-3. 'Two vast and trunkless legs of stone /Stand in the desert.' While the statue's ' ... half sunk '" shattered visage' lay nearby. This portrays a mood of forgotten decay. The traveller uses negative connotations to describe the statue of Ozymandias-trunkless, sunk and shattered to convey this mood. The narrator comments that this sculpture was once a symbol of pride and greatness, but now, it is no more than broken stone.
The narrator, then, goes on to describe the features of the statue's face whose 'frown and wrinkled lips ... ' give the impression that the subject was a cold, unforgiving man. The traveller compliments the sculptor on his fine work. ' ... its sculptor well those passions read ... ' The sculptor is commended for capturing the essence of Ozymandias' personality in his work. The subject of the statue was a man, who sneered upon those weaker than him. Ironically, the sculptor's hand ' ... mocked ... ' him but and ' ... the heart that fed' those emotions. However, his 'passions' have long become 'lifeless', and he himself, lies forgotten.
In the second line of the sestet, the traveller recalls the engraving on the statue. 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings/Look on my work, ye Mighty, and despair! ' These two lines give the statue an identity and show the reader of the king's pride. It is the climax of the poem, emphasized by the exclamation mark, He considers himself the 'king of kings'. ''mighty' begins with a capital M to give the impression that Ozymandias considers himself to be in he same rank as the Gods, he demands reverence from the Gods.
The last three lines of the poem communicates a meloncholy tone, which contrasts sharply with the king's speech previously. Ozymandias now stands amongst his work 'boundless and bare. The lone and level sand .. . 'There is irony in that Ozvmandias felt that all shall 'despair' in face of his 'work' that has turned to dust. 'Nothing more remains.'
 
Q.1 Answer the following questions by ticking the correct options.

(a) The poem is set in.................................................
(i) the wilderness (ii) an ancient land
(iii) a palace (iv) a desert
Ans.  iv
 
(b) The expression on the face of the statue is one of...................................
(i) admiration (ii) anger
(iii) despair (iv) contempt
Ans. iv
 
(c) This poem throws light on the......................... nature of Ozymandias.
(i) cruel (ii) arrogant
(iii) Boastful (iv) aggresive
Ans. iii

(d) The sculptor was able to understand Ozymandias....................................
(i) words (ii) expression
(iii) feelings (iv) ambition
Ans. iv

(e) The tone of the poem is.........................................
(i) mocking (ii) nostalgic
(iii) gloomy (iv) gloating
Ans. i
 
Q.2 Answer the following questions briefly.

(a) "The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed." Whose hand and heart has the poet referred to in this line?
Ans. In this line the poet referred to the hand and heart of the sculptor.
 
(b) "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings." Why does Ozymandias refer to himself as king of kings? What quality of the king is revealed through this statement.
Ans. Ozymandias refers to himself as King of Kings because he thought he was the mightiest of all kings and no one was more powerful than him. Through this statement the quality revealed is boastfulness, conceit and vanity in the king.
 
(c) "Look on my words, ye Mighty, and despair!" Who is Ozymandias referring to when he speaks of ye Mighty? Why should they despair?
Ans. Ozymandias is referring to any warrior or king who thinks he is stronger than Ozymandias when he speaks of ye Mighty. He thinks they would despair when they see his might and his work because they cannot match up to his work.
 
(d) Bring out the irony in the poem.
Ans. The irony in the poem is just where the statement is engraved - "Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" at the same place there is nothing around except for vast stretches of sand and desert. Through these words the king was trying to show his grandeur but is stood in a place where time had blown away everything.
 
(e) 'Nothing beside remains." What does the narrator mean when he says these words?
Ans. When the narrator says - Nothing beside remains; he means the vast empire and achievements of the great king has now disappeared. Neither the achievements, riches, wealth nor the king exist. Everything has perished with time.
 
(f) What is your impression of Ozymandias as a king?
Ans. My impression of Ozymandias as a king was that of a proud conceited warrior who just fights wars, sheds blood for the sake of being known as great. He is the one who destroys others to make his name as a victorious, fearless and mighty king.
 
(g) What message is conveyed through this poem?
Ans. This poem conveys the message that nothing or none is stronger than time. No one is immortal. All things come to an end sometime.
 
Reference to the Context Type Questions

Read the extracts below and answer the questions that follow. Write the answers in one or two lines only.

Q.1 I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert.

(a) Where had the traveller come from?
Ans. A land where a civilization had flourished in ancient times. He is probably referring to Egypt.
 
(b) What had he seen there!
Ans. He had seen a huge statue of a king called Ozymandias.
 
(c) What part of it still stood!
Ans. Only the legs stood still.
 
Q.2 Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
(a) What is 'them'!
Ans. 'Them' are the two legs of the statue.
 
(b) What lies near them!
Ans. The half-shattered face of the statue lies there.
 
(c) Whose expression did the sculptor read well!
Ans. He reads the expression on the face of Ozymandias.
 
Q.3 Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
(a) What is the expression on the face of the statue!
Ans. An expression of contempt.
 
(b) Whose hand mocked the expression?
Ans. The hand of the sculptor.
 
(c) Whose heart fed the expression!
Ans. The heart of Ozymandias.
 
Q.4 Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
(a) What does the poet mean when he says that 'Nothing beside remains'!
Ans. There is nothing else that has survived except for the broken statue.
 
(b) What does the poet mean by 'colossal wreck'?
Ans. The huge statue of Ozymandias.
 
(c) What literary device does the poet use in the last line!
Ans. Synechdoche
 
Q.5 And on the pedestal these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
(a) Where are these words carved 'Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Ans. At the foot of Ozymandias' statue.
 
(b) To whom is Ozymandias referring when he speaks of 'ye Mighty'?
Ans. The people who pass by and see the statue.
 
(c) Why should Ozymandias refer to himself as 'King of Kings'?
Ans. He considers himself very powerful.
 
 

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