The meaning of power, within Ozymandias, is someone who possesses authority and a great social structure which lasts for a long time. Ozymandias, by Percy Shelly, is a poem about a king who was known to be “the best of the best.” He was the one who had a lot of power but overtime lost a lot of power and almost became nothing. Although he had a statue, there was almost nothing left but the legs and the hip. Throughout the poem, we can see that the idea of power can be considered as something that’s misused, temporary, and forgotten.
Power is something that is used and held by the highest authority. In Ozymandias, we can see that the idea of power is misused. In line 8, “The hands that mocked them and heart that fed” means that the people who used to wield the power had been viewed as weak and irrelevant. It shows that the power of the king was considered to be misused and that the “hands” also take away the identity of what it means to be a ruler. In addition, the phrase “heart that fed” is shown as the person’s emotions. It’s most likely to show why the king is interpreted as an arrogant person. The reason why this matters is because it illustrates the imagery and meaning behind the idea of power and how it’s used unfairly.
Although the perspective of power can be generalized as something that doesn’t last long, this perspective can also be seen as something that doesn’t last forever. For example, in lines 10-11, “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
It seems that Ozymandias wanted to reach out to the people by his claim just to show how powerful he is. Going in the phrase “King of Kings” can be interpreted as being one of the most powerful kings that has total possession over everything. Then looking into his “works” we can interpret this as everything that Ozymandias has accomplished as king. For example, the statue can be one of those works that he accomplished. The idea behind this irony is that the “works” that Ozymandias had all crumbled to dust and that’s what happens to every king. In addition, the phrase, “ye Mighty, and Despair,” also shows that even the most powerful people can fall the same way, along with their accomplishments. This illustrates that power in Ozymandias can crumble and diminish as time moves forward.
We can also see that in the poem power is something that is forgotten meaning that it disappeared or crumbled away overtime. In lines 12 - 13, it says that, “Nothing beside remains. Round the decay, Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare.” This shows that the society that was ruled by Ozymandias was left to ruin or destroyed at some point in time and was never rebuilt. All the things that were left were probably rubble and some items left behind. The idea behind this is that this type of imagery describes how bare the society and the city looked as the power of Ozymandias diminished to bare bones. Looking closer at the phrase “Wreck, boundless and bare”, we can see that it refers to what happens to every person in power where they can lose everything and it all turns into dust. This illustrates that power, in Ozymandias, is temporary and that it’s something that can’t be held forever and therefore it can be forgotten.
Throughout the poem we can see that the idea behind power is that it can be misused or mistreated by higher authority. It can be viewed as a temporary state of possessing higher authority. It’s also something that can crumble, disappear, and be forgotten throughout history.
Overall, power can be misused, it’s a temporary state of authority that allows someone such as Ozymandias to gain control or be powerful, and that kind of authority can disappear and crumble over time. We can see that Ozymandias was once a powerful king by some achievement but at the end he lost everything and his power crept away. The most likely thing that people will remember him by would be the statue of him with the statement “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”